Return to ERHA homepage
WPacific Electric logoWPacific Electric Business Car 1299

Pacific Electric Business Car 1299 Diagram


WWork Order 28227, April 1929, ordered Torrance Shop crews to "convert one steel car into a business car." Thus car 1299 appeared on the PE scene --- a scene it was to dominate for the next quarter of a century.

WOut of the many Portland cars then clogging the shop's storage tracks, one was chosen --- trailer 477, built by Pullman in 1912. Why a trailer? The exigencies of service in Oregon had demanded more out of motor cars than of trailers, and the trailers were in better shape due to less usage. Thus 477 went into the shops and was stripped to the shell. Observation lounges were partitioned off at the ends, a kitchen and a lavatory were installed amidships. Old windows were disposed of and new brass sash installed throughout. Trucks came from a scrapped Portland combo, but 1299 got four GE 222D motors of but 125 hp, thus making her unique among PE's 1200s; nevertheless, 1299 could and did work MU with other Twelves despite this handicap which limited her balancing speed to 47 mph. Partly making up for the small motors, roller bearing journals were installed --- the only ones in the entire 1200 Class. The standard PE illuminated roof destination signs were installed at either end. Special low type pneumatic trolley bases were used, making the car's use in the subway possible. In all, it cost Pacific Electric about $21,000 to rebuild the Portland trailer into the deluxe 1299.

WThe sparkling new business car entered service in August, 1929 and released old business car 999 for regular service. Thereafter, 1299 and 1000 performed all of PE's official missions. Later, 1299 succeeded 1000 in "Commodore" service during summer months, which proved to be her only public use; the car was available for charter by groups, however. As PE's last official car, 1299 ran to the end of electrification and thereafter was hauled over the dwindling system by steam and diesel locomotives whenever an inspection tour by bigwigs was deemed advisable. This service ended in 1956, and this one-of-a-kind car was sold to two railfans, who retired the unique car to exhibition duty at the Los Angeles County Fairplex in Pomona. 1299 is thus the sole intact survivor of the once mighty 1200 Class.

Return to ERHA homepage