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WPacific Electric logoWPacific Electric 950 Class History
Pacific Electric 950-993 Class Car Diagram
Individual Car Histories, 950 Class

Pacific Electric 994 Class
Pacific Electric 999 Class


WThe 950 Class was constructed by the St. Louis Car Company in 1907 for The Los Angeles Pacific Ry., a Pacific Electric predecessor company which comprised a large part of what became PE's Western District. their own due more perhaps to their high speed than to any other factor.

WLAP's proposed subway from its Hill St. Station to Vineyard was virtually assured of being constructed when the order was placed for these cars. The minor business depression of late 1907 caused a postponing of subway construction (later the subway idea was revived and again postponed --- eventually to be forgotten) but these fifty cars were completed --- LAP's first cars to be built with standard gauge trucks. LAP's intention to secure fifty more of these big cards was another casualty of the 1907 recession.

WThe 950s were a well built car. Their bottom framing was of rather heavy construction: two center sills were formed of an 8 inch, 18 lb. I-beam, sandwiched between wood fillers. Side sills were made up of a 7 inch, 15 lb. I-beam placed between a 5 inch x 8 inch wood sill on the outside and a filler block inside. This wood sill was further reinforced by a 1/2 inch x 8 inch steel plate bolted to the outside. Center sills ran the full length of the car.

WThe car had a double floor, made up of an under floor of 1 inch x 5-1/4 inch yellow pine laid diagonally, and an upper floor of 3/4 inch x 3-1/4 inch flooring. Double roof sheathing was used, with felt paper between the two layers.

WAlthough built for double end operation, 950s had but one vestibule. Originally the open end had no partition or railing between passengers and motorman; in later years PE modified this by installing cabs in a number of cars. Train door were standard, marking the first use of this convenient feature on interurban cars in the Los Angeles area. No vestibule doors were provided, but the ingenious pantagraph gate connected to the trap door beneath it provided a safe closure.

WThe interior was finished in inlaid mahogany. In each corner of the closed section was a 10 inch diagonal mirror, and short longitudinal seats in corners allowed additional room in aisles at doors. Seats in the closed section were green plush, high back, 37 inches long. Seats in the open section were wood slat. All seats were of the walkover type except the longitudinal ones, which were permanently placed. Metal trim throughout was nickel plated.

WTrucks were of St. Louis Car's 61-A type, and were fitted with 34 inch steel tired spoked wheels having 3-1/2 inch treads and 1 inch flanges, mounted on 5-1/2 inch axles. Four motors of the General Electric No. 73 type propelled each car; a GE Type M controller was selected.

WThe new cars were shipped to Los Angeles on their own wheels and their electrical equipment was installed at the 26th St. spur in Santa Monica. They entered service on the Venice Short Line and the Santa Monica via Beverly Hills Line as those important lines were standard gauged. LAP numbered them 700-749. The 700s were generally similar to Old PE's standard interurban type (New PE's 800 Class) in body design but were slightly larger, although not geared for as high a top speed; this handicapped the 700s throughout their service life --- for their top speed was but 47 mph.

WBecoming the property of New PE in the Great Merger of 1911, these cards retained their numbers but got a coat of PE crimson. Other modifications carried out at that time included closing the sides at open ends to belt rail, installing a single PE pneumatic pole and receiving the PE standard roof roller signs. Five cards were in deluxe service: 01 (later 999), 021-025 (to become 994-998). These are treated separately.

WPE withdrew these cars from the Western District and assigned them to its Northern District, where they became fixtures on the Pasadena Short Line, Pasadena via Oak Knoll Line, and Sierra Madre Line. From 1911 to 1924 the 700s operated from a home base at Pasadena car house, but with the receiving of the new 1100 Class and its installation on the various Northern District runs, the 700s were returned to the Western District, to resume their service to Venice and Santa Monica via West 16th St.

WA renumbering was necessitated in 1924 so additional cards of the 600 Class could remain in a solid series; these cars in that year surrendered their 700 Class numbers and became 950-993, which numbers they bore until scrapped.

W950-993 received a major shopping in 1928-1929; their old seats were removed and new divided seats installed; open ends were enclosed with brass sash; twin pneumatic trolleys were installed; folding doors were added. These improvements gave a new lease of life to the old 950s and were much appreciated by patrons of the western beach lines.

WA major change in the appearance of the cars came about when their old high fenders were replaced by low fenders; records to hand do not show the date of this alteration, but it occurred in the Twenties.

WThe 950 Class was PE's only class of wooden interurbans which never had combos; assigned ever to lines characterized as more commuter type than interurban, the 950s never were called upon to transport LCL to any extent.

WThe abandonment of the Santa Monica via Beverly Hills Line in 1940 marked the supposed end of the line for the 950s. All were earmarked for scrapping at that time, and nineteen of them actually were burned or sold for other use. World War II intervened in time to save the other thirty one cars; they were rolled off the scrap line and into the shops and were completely rehabilitated. Throughout the war years the 950 Class rolled down to Venice and out to Burbank, as well as aiding on the Pasadena lines during the period the 1100 Class was undergoing shopping.

W1950 brought doom. On September 17th the famed Venice Short Line was closed down and the 950 Class became surplus. PE sold all 31 to the National Steel & Metals Corporation for about $1,700 each; all were hauled to that company's scrap yard on Terminal Island and were scrapped. PE officially struck the 950 Class from its official roster as of November 9, 1950. Exceptions: 981, 982, 985 & 987 were retired in 1949 and 1950 at West Hollywood and were robbed of parts to keep the remainder of this class in operating condition; 982 and 985 were sold for private use in 1950 and 981 and 987 wound up on Terminal Island.


WCars 744, 745 and 746 were made into control trailers by LAP and their motors used in certain locomotives built by LAP. PE purchased motors for these cars and motorized them; they entered service as PE motor cars in September, 1914.

WCar 704 which PE had fitted up as an excursion car was put through the PE shops in the spring of 1912 and emerged in June of that year as a straight passenger motor.

WPE valued the 950 Class at $11,916.00 each, as of 1938.

WCar 744 (950) was seriously damaged by fire in Pasadena in 1920; the car was completely rebuilt and returned to service the following year.

WCar 991 was unique in having but eight seats in its former open section, compared with the usual ten seats.

Pacific Electric 994 Class Car Diagram


WThe five deluxe cars of the 950 Class were PE 021-025 from 1911 until 1927; see 021-025 for their histories during those halcyon days.

WWith the gradual dwindling of excursion patronage as the automobile era took hold, PE decided in 1927 to turn these five cards back into straight passenger motors. The handwriting had been on the wall for some years previously; folding doors and steps on blind sides were applied to 021-025 as follows:
WWWW021: October, 1922
WWWW022: December, 1923
WWWW023: February, 1923
WWWW024: February, 1923
WWWW025: September, 1923

WThereafter, these deluxe cars could be seen working in trains with the other 950s (700s), although their deluxe blue exterior paint set them off nicely. Earlier (September, 1920), 021-025 had their speedy 29:46 gear ratio cut down to 21:54, the same as the remainder of the 950 Class.

W021 was renumbered 994 on November 19th, 1927 and the other followed immediately.

WAs 994-998 these cars were distinguished from prosaic 950s by their twin oversize size windows --- a feature of their earlier rebuilding into deluxe cars when their original open sections were enclosed with wood sash. These cars also were set apart by keeping their high back seats, of which there were but 24, accommodating only 48 passengers as against the other 950s' 56 seat capacity.

W996, 997 and 998 were casualties of the 1940 scrapping program; 994 and 995 were retained, being earmarked for the unique Santa Monica Air Line. In 1935, 994 had her plush seats reupholstered in pantasote, while 995 kept her old fashioned plush seating to the end. Probably 994 was the most photographed of all 950s with the possible exception of 999; this was due to her epic Air Line assignment.

W994 and 995 were sold to National Steel & Metals in 1950 and were taken to Terminal Island to be scrapped; 994 was the last of all 950s to be cut up --- having been held for possible sale to motion picture studio. Alas, this was not to be --- and with the final moment of the 994 there passed all that was mortal of the famed Balloon Route Trolley Trip.

Pacific Electric 999 Class Car Diagram


WCar 999 was unique; it broke away from the remainder of its class back in LAP days. It ran as a deluxe car on LAP as "El Vicento" ("The Wind") until the Great Merger. PE rebuild it into its deluxe car, 01 (which see), and for years it carried VIPs over the system's lines. By 1925 the car was little used and on December 17th of that year was renumbered --- becoming 999. In 1929 this car was put through Torrance Shops, being rebuilt into a straight passenger motor of the 950 Class.

W999 that year entered regular passenger service, spending most of her subsequent career on the Venice Short Line.

WThe car's unique ends, reminiscent of both PE's 800 and 1000 Classes, made her much sought after by photographers.

W999 served until the abandonment of the Venice Short Line in 1950; the car went to her doom on Terminal Island in 1951.

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