Pacific Electric 5146 After the End of Service

By Caesar “CJ” Milch

On December 29, 1952, the day after the last regularly scheduled cars ran to the Valley, there was a special car run by the PE for a group of local politicians and Valley socialites (including Monty Montana the cowboy).

I recently purchased these original Kodachrome slides (unfortunately, no indication of the original photographer) and wanted to share them with the PE community. I missed two great shots from this same series to other bidders – one on the Chandler right-of-way and another at North Hollywood with Monty Montana clearly visible. I had to buy them, because I’d never seen pictures of this day, but I knew it had happened!

The first one is looking north from the south side of the Chandler Blvd. right-of-way as Hollywood car 5146 rolls toward the North Hollywood station. Not sure of the exact location as there is no notation on the slide other than “Chandler Blvd.”

Unknown Photographer, Caesar Milch Collection

Unknown Photographer, Caesar Milch Collection

The second shot is at North Hollywood station where there was a brief layover and walk around session. The motorman doesn’t look too happy.

Unknown Photographer, Caesar Milch Collection

Unknown Photographer, Caesar Milch Collection

The third shot is 5146 rolling down the private right-of-way that will soon be gone. Note the construction at left which I believe to be connectors to Mulholland Drive. I’m of the thought that this was taken from the Pilgrim overpass just north of the Hollywood Bowl stop.

Unknown Photographer, Caesar Milch Collection

Unknown Photographer, Caesar Milch Collection

Fourth shot is 5146 from same location, but closer. Note the PE bus heading up to the valley!

Unknown Photographer, Caesar Milch Collection

Unknown Photographer, Caesar Milch Collection

Last shot is 5146 rounding the curve from Highland onto Santa Monica Blvd. The people in front of the corner store seem to know something is afoot and may not know that they will never see another car turn that corner ever again. 5146 was sure polished up for the last run and performed her duties in fine and high style.

Unknown Photographer, Caesar Milch Collection

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ralph Cantos previously had submitted the image on this article, which to date, has been the only image he had seen of this event.

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Showing 3 comments
  • Gerald Hunter
    Reply

    Truly excellent photo’s and history, Mr M. With the mention of Ira Swett and Mr Fellows, I am compelled to add that the San Pedro Red car operation is shutting down in September.
    Someone ( OERM?) please preserve those cars, especially
    1058.

  • David Coscia
    Reply

    Several of these photos appear on page 240 of the book, Pacific Electric and the Growth of the San Fernando Valley. They were credited to Mr. Dallas Gilbertson, deceased as of 2008. I learned of them originally in the book California Rails 1950s: A Color Pictorial while attending Winterail and was given permission to use them. He must have had a really good camera as shots are taken several seconds apart. And yes, the two shots in Cahuenga Pass are from Pilgrimage Playhouse Bridge (now the John Anson Ford Theater).

  • Caesar J. Milch
    Reply

    Thank you, Mr. Coscia! It’s great to know the likely photographer and to give credit where due! Hats off to Mr. Dallas Gilbertson and the legacy he created and left behind for all of us to share!

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