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Ontario & San Antonio Heights Line

W ONTARIO-SAN ANTONIO HEIGHTS LINE This was the original line of the Ontario & San Antonio Heights Railway Company. The line began operating with mule cars in 1887, a mule hauling the little single-truck car from State St.(Ontario) due north to San Antonio Heights, about ten miles north and 1200 feet higher; on the return trip the motive power climbed aboard a tiny trailer and coasted down with the car. When O&SA electrified the line in 1895, the mules became the property of a nearby rancher; the story goes that the temperamental animals pulled the plough fine uphill, but refused to work downhill.

A thirty-acre amusement park was built by the company of San Antonio Heights, with a powerhouse adjoining. Heavy crowds were transported along Euclid Ave. in the early days, for the line connected Ontario with Upland, provided connections between the SP Station at Ontario and the Santa Fe Station at Upland, and cared for the thongs bound for pleasure-seeking at the Park. Euclid Ave. was famous for it divided highway; in the wide center strip was a double line of huge pepper trees, and between the rows of trees, set a grass-covered private way, went the single track of this line.

Owned after electrification by Ontario Electric Company, the line became the property of the Pacific Light & Power Corporation. in a merger in 1908. Mr. William G. Kerckhoff, at that time president of PL&P, energetically pushed the expansion of the O&SA by building its branch to San Bernardino. However, the O&SA was purchased by SP on 13 April 1912 and this line, plus the line from Upland to Pomona, passed into PE hands.

Route: From Ontario Chamber of Commerce at Emporia St., north on Euclid Avenue, passing the Central School at G St., the Chaffey Union High School at 4th St., making a crossing of the Santa Fe main line at A St., to PE Station, Upland; from here the line continued due north on Euclid Ave. to 24th St.(La Cima), were it turned west on private way to San Antonio Heights.

History: Acquired by PE in 1912. In 1914 established as Ontario-San Antonio Heights Line(branch to Pomona separated and became Pomona-Claremont Line at this time). Line cut back to La Cima on 4 July 1924; on 1 November 1924, cut back to Upland. On 6 October. 1928, Ontario-Upland Line abandoned.

Operation: The main function of this line after 1914 was to provide a shuttle service between Ontario and the main line at Upland. This round-about way to get to the L.A. area suffered heavily when motor bus operation began on a direct highway route. In the abandonment hearing in 1928, PE produced records which tended to show that this line was hopelessly incapable of earning even operating expenses. Passenger traffic fluctuated widely, as the follow figures show:

Year Passengers Car Miles Revenue 1913 918,728 295,840 $73,491 1914 612,478 232,916 50,181 1915 184,750 74,724 8,745 1918 133,239 73,528 7,019 1920 382,768 124,094 20,747 1923 363,121 124,649 27,798 1924* 180,418 62,099 14,180 1924# 66,947 23,776 5,821 1924% 35,692 11,631 3,118 * Ontario-SA Heights. cut back July 3 # Ontario-La Cima Line to October 31 % Ontario-Upland only

As of 1 February 1924, PE public timetables had separate listings for: Upland- SA Heights. Line and Upland-Ontario Line. Approximately one hour service was given from Upland to the Park from 5:46 AM to 10:48 PM. Upland to Ontario service was approximately twenty minutes during rush periods, one hour at off peak periods. 34 round trips daily were carded, of which 16 made connections with main line trains.

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