Playa Del Rey and the Pacific Electric

Ralph Melching’s December 24, 1939, image at trackside of the small waterfront community of Playa Del Rey, with the Pacific Electric station to the left and housing development on the iconic bluff/hillside in the background.

Ralph Melching Photo, Pacific Railroad Society Collection

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  • Patrick Galligan

    What’s the purpose of the tower inside the station fence, to left of the tracks? And what’s that little building at the top level? Signaling structure of some sort? It also seems to have cables that radiate straight out, appearing attached to the overhead, and what looks like it might be a weight hanging down, so perhaps for overhead tensioning?

  • Bob Davis

    I think the device at the top of the tower is an oil-filled switch or circuit breaker, which protects the 15kV line going to Substation 41.
    I doubt if any PE lines used counterweights for overhead line tension; the first place I saw counterweights in an overhead line system was on the San Diego Trolley (where they used German-designed overhead) back in 1981.

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Charles D. Savage Photo, Donald Duke Collection, Pacific Electric Railway Historical Society CollectionRalph Melching Photo, Pacific Railroad Society Collection