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Pacific Electric
Long Beach Line

Route:
WFrom 6th & Main Station via elevated tracks to San Pedro Street, to East Ninth, to private way at Hooper Avenue, thence via Watts, Compton and Dominguez to American Avenue & Willow Street in Long Beach; thence via American Avenue to Ocean Avenue and on Ocean to Morgan Yard, its terminus.

Mileages:
Los Angeles0.000.00
Slauson Junction4.274.27
Watts3.187.45
Dominguez Junction5.8613.31
North Long Beach4.2117.52
Long Beach2.8520.37
Total:20.37


History:
WThe Long Beach Line was the first PE line to have been conceived, designed and constructed in its entirety by Henry P. Huntington and his organization. It was the first PE line to break away from the 3'6" narrow gauge which had been universally used previously in the Los Angeles area. It was the first PE line designed for high speed operation and laid out for such operation. Although numerous other lines were subsequently constructed branching out from it, the Long Beach Line remained the backbone of the Southern District.
WThe Pacific Electric Railway Company ("Old PE") was incorporated by Huntington and his associates on November 14, 1901. Not until March 31, 1902, was PE ready to take command of the active construction of its first major undertakings:
  1. Pasadena Short Line
  2. Long Beach Line
  3. Monrovia Line
  4. New Shops, 7th & Central
  5. Central Avenue Power Plant
WBetween November 15, 1901 and March 31, 1902 the heavy construction expenditures on these projects amounted to more than $866,500, all of which was disbursed by the Los Angeles Railway Company, also owned by Huntington. Hence it can be said that technically the Long Beach Line was originally a LARy undertaking with much of its right of way acquisition and track laying(but no overhead) being accomplished by LARy men.
WLARy's E Ninth Street line was turned over to PE to give the Long Beach Line entry into Los Angeles. The bulk of the construction work was accomplished in four months. The line cost a million dollars, and most of it was easy going for the contractor, Robert Sherer & Company. The line was double tracked throughout, and was laid with 60 lb. rails, The greatest cuts and fills: 17 feet high, a half mile long. The fills were made with electric dump cars and several trains of these were required. Between Compton and and Long Beach it was necessary to construct 14 trestles, the longest of which was the one over the Los Angeles River, a thousand feet in length. Huntington decreed an entry into Long Beach in keeping with the magnitude of the line: a beautiful double track boulevard along the tracks extending back from the Pacific Ocean for a distance of two miles; thus American Avenue was born and thus it gained its impressive width. In all, the Long Beach Line had but six curves, and its maximum grade was 1%; small wonder that this became the hotbed for most speed tests of the entire system.
WOn July 3, 1902, the first passenger car ran through from Los Angeles to Long Beach, carrying PE officials and guests. The line was opened to the public the next day, operating from a Los Angeles terminal at 9th & Main Streets. LARy cars carried roof signs advertising the new line.
WThe line was opened with cars of the 200 Class("Baby Fives"); these were built in 1902 by St. Louis Car Company as narrow gauge cars, but had their trucks spread for the Long Beach run. Their 38-B motors made it a slow, long trip. The larger and much faster 250 Class cars(800s) succeeded them in 1903. Electric trains came to the line in 1906 when the 250 Class was fitted with couplers and multiple unit control.
WIn 1907, the Long Beach Line was four-tracked from 9th & Hooper to Watts; this made it possible for Watts local cars and freight trains to refrain from delaying the interurbans.
WThe current Blue Line light rail follows much the same route as the Pacific Electric did before its demise in April, 1961.

Equipment:
WA variety of equipment was used on this line; the only interurban type not to have seen regular service here was the 950 Class.

Equipment:
1902:200 Class
1903:800 Class
1913:1000 Class
1921:1222 Class (also 1000 Class)
1942:4500 Class (also 1000, 1100,1200)
1943:4600 Class (also the above)

WIn 1946 and 1947 the 4500 and 4600 Classes were modernized, becoming respectively the 300 and 400-450-496 Classes). In 1947 the 1000 Class left this line, and in 1950 the 1200 Class was retired. The 300 and 400-450-496 classes served this line through the Metropolitan Coach Lines era, and in 1950 the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority renumbered the surviving cars together in the 1500 Class. (It should be noted that the 1100 Class was never a major factor on the the line; 1100s ran spasmodically on the Southern District, apparently in emergencies when faster cars were unavailable).


Track:
WAs noted above, the Long Beach Line was originally laid with sixty lb. T-rail. After 1911, Southern Pacific made available heavier rail.
By 1939 rail was as follows:
Track:
Segment:RailTiesBallast
9th & Hooperto22nd Street:70 lb.RD
22nd Streetto28th Street:70RG
28th StreettoSlauson:70RR
SlausontoWatts:90RG
WattstoAlbia:90RG
AbilatoDominguez:75RG
DomingueztoNorth Long Beach90RGG
North Long BeachtoAnaheim St:128TRA
Anaheim StreettoOcean Avenue:128TRA
Ocean AvenuetoMorgan Yard:128TRA
R: Redwood; T: Treated; D: Dirt; G: Gravel; R: Rock; A: Asphalt

In succeeding years, additional 90 lb. rail was laid on the interurban tracks between 9th & Hooper and Slauson Jct.


Electrical Facilities:
Substations located on this line were as follows:
No. 45:Maple Ave, LA
No. 01:Central Avenue
No. 50:Amoco
No. 33:Slauson
No. 04:Watts
No. 05:Dominguez
No. 49:North Long Beach
No. 06:Long Beach


Car Storage:
WLong Beach Line cars were stored in Los Angeles at the 7th Street surface yard, at 7th & Central before 1918, and at 8th Street Yard-9th & Hooper. In Long Beach, cars were stored at Morgan Yard(Ocean Ave & Morgan Avenue) and at Fairbanks Yard(on east bank of Flood Control Channel near Anaheim Street); a car house formerly stood at Fairbanks Yard; it had a capacity of twenty cars.
WEquipment servicing and repairs of a lighter nature were always made at Main Street Station and at Fairbanks, with heavy repairs being performed at Torrance Shops. When the Torrance Shops were closed in 1951, all repairs of necessity were performed at Fairbanks Yard until the end in 1961.

Freight:
WBetween Los Angeles and Dominguez Jct., the Long Beach Line had always been a heavy freight hauler. From Dominguez to North Long Beach(at Willow Street), this line accommodated Newport Line freights. In early days, Long Beach city freight traversed this line to a little freight house which stood on the old carhouse property, at 5th & American Avenue About 1909 a new freight house was installed at 14th and American; this in turn gave way to a unified PE-SP freight house on the west bank of the flood control channel near 7th Street & Pico Avenue.
WThus in modern times no freight trains have been operated in Long Beach per se by PE from Willow Street to Golden Avenue However, box motors and RPO cars did traverse this trackage regularly.
Passengers: (Fare & Transfer):
YearPassengersMilesRevenue
19133,072,8741,659,808$579,385
19162,989,9101,470,909$547,883
19183,039,9781,383,629$608,212
19203,604,7691,473,578$743,123
19223,874,6351,601,634$1,601,634
19243,901,1701,559,117$1,239,427
19263,317,2431,438,766$1,073,081
19283,413,8521,537,847$973,743
19302,695,7291,246,728$858,143
19321,855,956947,610$546,522
19341,422,704787,606$401,426
19362,036,3711,052,947$546,164
19382,192,1611,128,272$604,941
19401,816,701994,846$454,542
19422,852,3061,297,314$819,184
19446,361,2991,714,640$1,666,536
19457,881,6771,975,800$1,949,402
19466,968,2091,885,858$1,805,838
19475,499,8551,479,971$1,412,840
19503,088,2661,051,282$952,730
19523,018,7521,024,577$1,076,109
19542,336,614879,481$975,563
19562,045,091785,062$1,101,579
19581,603,476704,741$817,826


Miscellaneous:
WThe Long Beach Line brought in about 8.4% of the total system revenue; this percentage figure was first attained about 1920 and remained practically constant up until 1940.
WIn the early days, Compton was the one settlement between the two terminals; thus a favorable load characteristic was enjoyed. As the country built up, more and more local stops had to be made. However, even as late as 1939 the passenger load held mostly constant from Los Angeles to Willow Street, then fell off abruptly.
WThis line had an excellent route through the city of Long Beach; it bisected the city on American Avenue, then followed the water front to Morgan Yard. Local feeder lines (first rail, later bus) crossed the line at frequent intervals.
WTravel on this line fluctuated widely throughout the year; summer travel to the beach was very heavy, while winter travel was considerably lighter.
WThis line was always one of the very best earning lines of the entire system as well as the most heavily patronized during most of its history. In terms of revenue per car mile, this line usually ran far in excess of any other interurban line of like characteristics.

Daisy Avenue Freight Line:
WIn 1925-26 a new entrance into Long Beach from the Long Beach Line was built to provide freight trains with a better entrance into that city. This line was single track, and left the Long Beach Line at Los Cerritos, on the east bank of the Los Angeles River. It then followed the river closely to Wardlow Road, thence turned easterly to Daisy Avenue, which it entered at Powers Street, following Daisy Avenue to a junction with the original Daisy Avenue Line at State Street (now Pacific Coast Highway). It then traversed Daisy Avenue to Anaheim Street, where it entered Fairbanks Avenue Yard. The total length of the extension from State Street to Los Cerritos was 14,516 feet.
WThe original Daisy Avenue Line from the site of Fairbanks Avenue Yard to State Street was constructed in 1910. Its length was 5,780 feet. The westernmost track at Fairbanks Avenue Yard was reserved for through service to and from Daisy Avenue, and switches (all rigid) were kept lined for Daisy Avenue at all times.
WIn 1940 it was decided that the Daisy Avenue entrance into Long Beach was not worth retaining. In January, 1941, the track between 32nd Street and State Street was abandoned. On December 8, 1945, the remainder (used as a spur) from Los Cerritos to 32nd Street was abandoned. The original line from Fairbanks to Pacific Coast Highway remained in service to serve the numerous industries.

Hawthorne - El Nido Segment:
WThis 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" in July, 1912 by "New" PE; the final car operated on October 25, 1933. The line was thereupon abandoned.


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