Pacific Electric No. 5011: PCC High Jinks in the Western District
By Ralph Cantos
This very interesting photograph was taken on October 12, 1952. The location is the middle of La Cienega at San Vicente Boulevard looking north. The fan trip operated around points of interest on the Western District. The high point of this trip was a stop at the former PE’s 7th Street Surface yard accessed by dual-gauge tracks on 7th St between San Pedro and Main Streets.
A photo stop on 7th Street produced a fantastic of the 5011 and a LATL PCC on the same street. This was the ONLY location in the entire USA where two PCCs of two transit systems, of two different gauges, and two different builders could be taken.
Later that day, the fan trip came down the Sherman Cut-Off from West Hollywood Car House to Sherman Junction. The 5011 pulled into the center of La Cienega Boulevard, which was the “end of wire” by this time. This track was still in use at this late date to service an oil well behind what would be today’s Beverly Center. The oil well still exists to this day, but delivery to the refinery is by pipeline rather then by a PE-hauled tank car.
Later that day, the fan trip stopped at Culver Junction for more photographic memories. The electrification of this end of the Western District was in slow decline and would be gone altogether in a few years.
The choice of the 5011 as the fan trip car might have been that it was the last PE PCC still sporting the “as delivered” paint scheme with the name PACIFIC ELECTRIC proudly displayed on her flanks. Soon, the 5011 would be “refreshed” with a new paint job sporting the PE Emblem and the Pullman green “Mohawk” roof paint job, something I personally never liked.