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El Segundo Line
The El Segundo Line was constructed for two reasons:
- To provide access to the Long Beach Line for then narrow-gauge lines serving Redondo, Gardena and San Pedro;
- To give PE-SP a line into Standard Oil's big El Segundo refinery--a line which became PE's blue ribbon freight hauler.
HISTORY: The first segment of this line---Watts to Homeward(South L.A.)---
was built in 1911 as a double track, standard gauge line. It was built to the highest specifications and was primarily aimed at getting the Redondo via Gardena cars into L.A. in 35 minutes. This segment opened on November 12, 1911.
On May 27, 1911, it was announced in the various newspapers that Standard Oil would built an "industrial city" to be known as "El Segundo" ("The Second"), where that company's second great refinery would be located(the first was at Richmond). The new refinery was to cost $3,000,000, would employ 2,000 men and would have an immense wharf to accommodate oil tankers.
Work began immediately, and progressed rapidly. A spur track from LAP's ocean front line was built up the steep grade into the property and hauled large amounts of building materials and feed for animals. This line would not be feasible for tonnage freight trains due to excessive grades encountered, as well as roundabout entry into L.A.
In August, 1912 PE announced it would extend a line from Homeward to El Segundo via Hawthorne. This line would connect at Delta and Hawthorne with former LA&R serving Redondo Beach and also at Delta with the former LAIU San Pedro-Torrance narrow gauge. However, the contract was not awarded until December, 1913. Work proceeded and the first car into El Segundo arrived on August 10, 1914. An attractive 38 X 58 ft. Station was built at that time at Eucalyptus St. & Grand Ave, El Segundo.
Passenger service was operated until October 31, 1930. The line is still
operated for freight.
TRACKAGE: Double track, Watts to South L.A. Single track, South L.A. to Hawthorne. Rail was 90 lb., on redwood ties; crushed rock and gravel ballast.
ELECTRICAL FACILITIES: Electrical energy used by this line came from these
substations, in addition to those listed under Long Beach Line from Los Angeles to Watts:
|No. 16:||Strawberry Park|
|No. 43:||El Nido|
|No. II 16:||Hawthorne (1937)|
FREIGHT: This was an oil line, pure and simple. Based on three-year average figures for 1935-36-37, this line ranked second on the system in number of cars handled, first in total tonnage, third in total revenue, and first in revenue per mile of line. Virtually all its traffic originated in El Segundo and El Segundo Station ranked above all the others in freight revenues.
The oil PE hauled out of El Segundo was primarily for SP's use at Yuma, Arizona. To escape paying the California sales tax, SP purchased its oil
at Yuma, hence this traffic had to move on commercial billing rather than on company billing. Gross revenue received by PE from SP business out of El Segundo was about $200,00 as of 1937.
These heavy tonnage trains usually required double-heading and were among the most impressive trains hauled behind interurban locomotives anywhere.
MISCELLANEOUS: As of 1928, through service via Watts and Hawthorne to Redondo Beach required five cars of the 800 and 1000 Classes. A one-man car(408) ran as a shuttle between El Segundo and Hawthorne. Seven two-men crews were required; three of these had headquarters at L.A. and four were
based at Hawthorne; he made 9 trips daily each way, each trip taking 11 minutes.
This line crossed the Santa Fe's harbor line at Wise(MP 16.32); the crossing was governed by an interlocker.
|Passengers: (Fare & Transfer)|
DELTA-STRAWBERRY PARK SEGMENT:
The Delta-Strawberry Park Line was the former LAIU line standard gauged; this
work was done in 1912-1913. The paralleled LA&R line was abandoned. Passenger service over this segment was performed by the San Pedro via Torrance Line and by the Redondo Beach via Gardena Line at various times.
This segment was 2.4 miles long, was entirely private way between roadways of Vermont Ave., and had 60 lb. rail. Last car ran over this segment on February 26, 1939. Rail was removed in 1941, but trolley wire hung in place until 1943.
HAWTHORNE-EL NIDO SEGMENT:
This 3.66 mile segment(single track, private way, 60 lb rail) was a remnant of LA&R's Inglewood Division and was built in 1902 by LA&R. It was widened from 3'6" to 4'8.5" in July, 1912 by New PE. Final car operated on October
25, 1933. Line was thereupon abandoned.
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