PE 5024 at Burbank Yard: Time Has Run Out

By Ralph Cantos

This tranquil scene at Pacific Electric’s Burbank Yard belies the sad fact that the end has come, prematurely I might add, to PE’s Glendale-Burbank modern light rail line.

It has been more than 60 years ago, June 18, 1955, to be precise, that this photo was taken. For most of this day, PCCs normally stored at Burbank Yard over the weekend for the Monday morning rush hour, have already departed to the Subway Terminal for the final time. Only the 5024 and another PCC await an operator that will dead-head the two cars as an “out of service” train back to the Subway. Behind the two cars, a single trolley pole can be seen of another PCC awaiting a regular service departure.

The scrapping of the Glendale-Burbank Line can only be descried as “shameful.” Every underhanded tactic was used by Metropolitan Coach Lines management to scuttle this line whose entire infrastructure and its basic rolling stock was just 15 years old. By today’s standards, it would be like scrapping LA’s Metro Blue Line and replacing the trains with buses. A bunch of greedy, selfish, uncaring SOBs did not give a damn about anything or ANYONE. Their only interest was to line their pockets with quick cash, and leave LA commuters to deal with the consequences. MCL management and Glendale City officials should have been put on trial for corruption. But back in those days, most Americas were more concerned about “THE BOMB” than a trolley car line.

And so the Glendale-Burbank Rapid Transit Line passed into history and no one was ever held accountable for the dastardly deed….

Ralph Cantos Collection

Recent Posts
Showing 5 comments
  • George J. Gliaudys Jr

    I remember as a small kid riding the line. It was a clean, rapid, and nice trip to Los Angeles. Great views of the town and LA river as it cruised along its tracks.

  • Kim Paulsen


    • Mark A.Bilinski

      At least in those days, worrying about THE BOMB was a legitimate concern. Today, if someone isn’t twittering about a Kardashian, they’re on Fleecebook showing the world their 100th tattoo. Politics and corruption go hand in hand. Look at how much money the taxpayer is lining Warren Buffet’s pockets with by leasing 58 BNSF motors to lead Metrolink cab cars that were designed to withstand head-end collisions. Has no one noticed that cab-car operation has been going on around the country for decades? The collision that caused that accident probably couldn’t have been repeated 100 times over, outside of some clown that was too ignorant or unable to read warning signs that weren’t printed in 50 different languages. Imagine the PE trying to maneuver it’s way through thousands of grade crossings and street running with today’s moronic motorists, to which many, warp speed is not fast enough. Face it. As much as many of us would love to see the PE system return, it is a thing of the past. Hauling people around is expensive, and frankly, a PITA. Furthermore, so many folks complain about highway congestion, yet how many people actually ride any type of transit? Most people look at you like you’re some kind of a freak if you tell them you ride a bus. People think they are doing the world a favor by driving a Prius in the carpool lane. Furthermore, if anyone had to pay actual fare for riding any type of government operated transit, there would be little, if any passenger ridership whatsoever. It is a combination of NIMBYism and simple economics that did away with the PE. Add to that, when government steps in to operate just about anything, kiss efficiency goodbye. Let’s all stand by, hold our breath and wait with anticipation for the completion of CA’s High Speed Rail.The deciding factor is which side of the check you sign. Mr Huntington’s Pacific Electric was a phenominal system. But like all good things, it came to an end. To many of us, we were never able to enjoy it for what it was. All we can do is preserve the memories of those that could for those in the future that care.

  • Joe Moguin

    I’m wondering if one of these cars still exist somewhere I might be able to see it and take some pictures.

    I’m about to build a miniature version for display in Eagle Rock and would like to be as accurate as possible to the original.



    • David Moser

      Joe, unfortunately, al of thses cars were sold, and were scrapped decades ago. Sad.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Start typing and press Enter to search

error: Please, no downloads.
Ralph Cantos Collection