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Fairbanks Yard

Fairbanks Avenue Yard is of comparative recent origin, having been built in 1930 as a replacement for the old 5th & American carhouse. The 5th & American property included in addition to the carhouse a substation, a storage shed , a linemen's office and a small garage. The carhouse contained four tracks, with two tracks outside it to the north and a short freight track outside to the south. Built in 1902, the carhouse was of brick construction, open front, one story, 196'4" deep and 71'2" wide. Tracks inside rested on wooden trestles with 2" X 12" flooring between; floor of this carhouse was six feet below tops of rails throughout the entire building. The building had a wood truss roof in two spans; roof was composition, and showers and brick toilet rooms were provided for employees. The freight storage shed was 20' X 38' and was of frame construction. A brick substation to the rear of the carhouse was 32'4" X 70'. By 1928 the 5th & American property was in the heart of downtown Long Beach; it was entirely too valuable to be used as a carhouse. In addition, the city powers that be were pressing PE to remove the old structure inasmuch as it was generally considered to be an eyesore. On January 10, 1929, a work order was approved to remove buildings from the 5th & American location and to build an entirely new storage and light maintenance center on the Daisy Avenue Line near the intersection of Fairbanks Avenue in the Knoll Park section of Long Beach. This work order called for the following work to be done:
  1. Construct approximately 6,550 feet of yard track at Fairbanks Avenue and double track approximately 810 feet of the Daisy Avenue Line.
  2. Construct new carhouse with inspection pits; including store room, Line Department shop, oil room, machine shop, locker and toilet room.
  3. Construct new substation and install spur track at 7th & Riverside Drive.
  4. Construct motor bus garage and install garage equipment.
  5. Retire and remove all existing tracks and buildings at 5th & American.
  6. Construct curbs, remove and replace paving and restore main line tracks at 5th & American.
This work was substantially completed by November 15, 1930. The Fairbanks Carhouse was a one story steel frame building on a concrete foundation; it measured 220' X 77'and contained four through tracks---the building being open at both ends. A cement floor, corrugated transite walls and roof, steel side walls with monitor sash and inspection pits under all tracks completed the facility. The nearby bus garage was of generally similar construction and measured 70' X 66'. Fairbanks Carhouse was "daylighted" in 1942--roof and upper side walls were removed. In 1952, upon the closing of PE's great shops at Torrance, all repair work for rail equipment was centered at Fairbanks.

FLOOD CONTROL CHANNEL: In 1919 the County of Los Angeles decided to construct a new ocean outlet for wastes of the Los Angeles River and Cerritos Slough. The new channel cut straight through old established streets of the western part of Long Beach in a wide swath, necessitating a major track relocation project on the part of the PE. To quote from PE's work order No. 19346: "Abandon a portion of Long Beach-Wilmington Line and five spurs leading therefrom in city of Long Beach account of flood control work of Los Angeles County, widening and defining Los Angeles River channel. Total single track main line and spurs to be abandoned 3.081 single track miles." Among casualties of this work were the old main line to Seaside Park via Santa Cruz Avenue and the big wye near the site of the future Fairbanks Avenue Yard.

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