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Long Beach Highlights

Pacific Electric Long Beach Depot

LONG BEACH HIGHLIGHTS: Donald Carson laboriously checked the newspaper files and produced a wealth of colorful and valuable Pacific Electric data, from which we quote the following:

(Items are summarized from the Long Beach Sun, Press, Telegram and Tribune newspapers.

The first official Pacific Electric interurban car entered Long Beach on July 3, 1902. A large crowd of citizens met the car at Pine & Green, and the Sons of Veterans fired a salute. Regular service began July 5, 1902, with ten minute service during the day. The ticket office was established at 119 Ocean Avenue.

In September 1902 local service was inaugurated on Ocean Avenue out to the Encampment of the Southern California Veterans Association and a belt line through the thickly settled portions of Alamitos was proposed. During the night of September 19, the crew was at work and the line, which had gone as far as Descanso(Orange) Avenue, was extended a block east, then north on Esperanza and across 1st and 2nd Streets to the old projected railroad right of way on Railway Street(now Broadway); thence the crew continued the work eastward to a point beyond Alamitos (Bixby) Park.

--February 5, 1904: Last week several carloads of ties and rails were taken to Alamitos. This morning a work train brought down 500 men from L.A. and work commenced on a double track from Esperanza Street. Track will be laid east to a junction with the Willow Street Line and then across the north end of the bay over 2,600 ft. of trestles to Bay City, Anaheim Landing and Newport Beach.

--April 1, 1904: Pacific Electric yesterday opened its extension to Seaside Park, west of the gas works. Cars will run every hour between the new terminal and Alamitos Bay and Devils Gate, making it entirely a beach line. On the 14th Street Line the service has been cut down and there will be a car every hour.

--Dec 2, 1904: Pacific Electric put into operation a new local line today. It starts at 3rd & Railroad Streets and runs west on 3rd to Pine Avenue to Ocean, west to Pacific, north to First, thence east to Railroad Street. There will be 20 minute service. The Magnolia, 14th Street and Redondo Avenue service remains unchanged.

May 29, 1905: No more transfers between interurbans and locals in Long Beach.

June 1, 1905: To compensate for abolishing transfers, interurbans will operate over an additional route. 65 trains daily from Los Angeles, with 12 running to east city limits on 1st Street and 12 go west to Seaside Park.
The remaining 41 cars come to Pine & Ocean. Local lines have been adjusted: One car leaves Pine Avenue for E. 1st Street and returns. Another leaves Pine, goes north to 3rd, thence east, returning to Pine, making the loop on 1st, and back to 3rd and thence west to the Riverside Tract(W. 3rd St.). Magnolia Line runs only between 14th Street and Esperanza Junction, the Redondo Avenue end being used by the Huntington Beach and Alamitos Bay Lines.

June 15, 1907: Work begins on the Naples Line, a branch of the Newport Line.

--September 9, 1907: Car 106, a new car went into service on Redondo Avenue Line.

--September 16, 1907: New belt line service started on Redondo Avenue, Huntington Beach Line, and American Avenue Lines. Two cars on Willow run and two on Redondo Avenue route are used on the new line, two running in each direction. Persons going to Huntington Beach or Newport will transfer at Willow instead of Zaferia. Huntington Beach and Newport cars will be attached to Long Beach trains to Willow.

--Jan. 10, 1908: "Maude", the strawberry box on E. 1st Stret and W. 3rd Street, will be taken off next Wednesday. Circle trips of Willow and Redondo Avenue cars will cease.

September. 19, 1908: Willow local car 147 crashed into an unguarded freight car at midnight at the freight depot alongside the car house.

--June 20, 1909: New E. 7th Stret Line opens. Service will be 30 minutes, with same car doing duty as "jigger" on W. 3rd and E. 1st, with hourly headway.

--June 25, 1910: Long Beach-San Pedro Line opens and W. 3rd Street local line discontinued. The San Pedro cars will handle local service.

--July 15, 1910: Pacific Electric purchases the entire belt line right of way of the Dock & Terminal Company around the Long Beach Harbor. Right of way runs parallel to all channels and reaches all docks, comprising about 10 miles of track.

--August. 5, 1910: Pacific Electric begins building north on Pine from 7th to 10th; already has buried track on Pine from 10th to Anaheim.

--August. 12, 1910: Naples Line rerouted via E. 1st Street to lessen traffic on E. Ocean. The "jigger" car from the main line to the Naples Hotel has been taken off and the ferry service stopped. Long Beach cars will continue to run to the hotel every hour; bridge is to be built for the electric line. Naples route: around Pacific loop, out E. 1st to Esperanza, north to Railway Avenue, east to Obispo, south to Mira Mar, over private way, then east to Naples.

--September. 12, 1910: SP will be requested to move its tracks from across the curb line at the corner of Alamitos & Railway Street to a point further toward the middle of the street. SP tracks stop at a point half way between Bonito and Cerritos Avenue on Railway Street and the Pacific Electric line extends on eastward on Railway. The idea is to have SP and Pacific Electric use the same tracks out Railway Street.

--October 24, 1910: The Salt Lake Route is delaying the eastward extension of the Pacific Electric E. 7th Street line by having men guard its Alamitos Avenue Line where Pacific Electric must cross. The men are there both day and night.

--October 26, 1910: Last night the Salt Lake track guards were increased to ten men. Pacific Electric needs to lay this crossing; the rest of the line and the trolley wire is complete to Redondo Avenue.

--Pacific Electric is putting in the crossing at E. 7th Street and Alamitos Avenue. The E. and W. 7th Street Lines are almost ready. The Willow local car will be routed over W. 7th Street as far as its junction with the San Pedro Line. The E. 7th Street Line will be a separate line.

--November 8, 1910: The 600 miles of the Pacific Electric with power plants, cars and all other property passed to the control of Southern Pacific. SP will probably take active control January 1st. This may postpone PE's new depot in Long Beach.

--November 11, 1910: All of the new lines just completed in Long Beach by Pacific Electric will be put into use tomorrow morning. The routing will be as follows:
Willow car will also go over the 14th (Magnolia) Line.
Alamitos Bay car, instead of going out 14th St. as at present, will swing around Pine to 7th and go out E. 7th.
Naples car will run out the new Pine Ave. extension to 14th & Pine.
A jigger will be operated over the new W. 7th Street Line.

--November 30, 1910: The line which operates via E. 1st. Street, Railroad Ave. and Mira Mar to Naples will be discontinued east of Esperanza Street.

--May 15, 1911: Complete rerouting of Long Beach local lines: Alamitos Bay and Seaside Park through routed: Willows and W. 7th also through routed; Magnolia, 14th, Pine & Ocean form new loop line; E. 1st and E. 7th through routed to form loop via Pine, E. 7th, Redondo Avenue, Railroad Avenue and E 1st Street; Zaferia, via E. 3rd & Redondo Avenue, no change.

June 1, 1911: Pacific Electric to absorb all local service provided by SP and Salt Lake roads.

September 1, 1911: All of the interurban roads controlled by SP were merged into one corporation today.

--September 28, 1911: Pacific Electric has begun taking up the tracks on E. 1st Stret. The latter line was abandoned some weeks ago by PE, officials saying that the Ocean Avenue and E. 3rd Street Lines provided the territory with all the necessary service. The rails of the E. 1st Street Line will be laid on E. 3rd Street, thus giving a double track on that line east of American.

--November 3, 1911: Pacific Electric has 50 men tearing up the tracks on E. 1st Street. The latter line was abandoned on E. 2nd Street between Alamitos and Esperanza. Work was stopped and the men forced to replace the rails by the city. The company agrees not to tear up any more rails until work on Pine Ave., E. 1st Street and Railroad Street is completed.

--September 8, 1913: Hourly service on the new Pacific Electric line between Long Beach and Seal Beach will begin on September 10th. Pacific Electric line across Alamitos Bay is now ready.

--September 11, 1914: Extension of W. 7th Street line opened. Extension runs for 1,000 feet west from the former western limit of the W. 7th Line, then turns south and continues for 700 feet. New line gives direct service to plants of the American Potash Co. and the Los Angeles Tuna Company.

--October 21, 1914: Jitney autos unless regulated may prove a serious matter to PE. The service on the Ocean Avenue Line has been cut down today and other local lines will be similarly reduced if conditions warrant.

--June 8, 1915: Workmen begin tearing up the car line on E. 3rd Street east of Olive Avenue. Removal of tracks from Ocean Avenue between American and Lindero Avenue will begin as soon as the E. 3rd Street trackage is out. All Alamitos Bay and Seal Beach cars will be routed via E. 3rd Street, Olive, and E. Broadway. No cars will be run over E. Ocean Avenue except the franchise run, one car daily over private way east of Lindero Avenue.

--June 4, 1915: Pacific Electric cars begin using the new Olive Avenue connecting link between the E. 3rd and Broadway Lines. All E. 3rd Street railroad traffic is being routed over the new line, the trackage on E. 3rd Street east of Olive being abandoned. Upon abandonment a few weeks hence of E. Ocean Avenue trackage, a new Broadway and E. 7th Street loop service will be inaugurated, with one car going via Zaferia to Willowville every 20 minutes and back.

--March 30, 1917: SP closed its passenger depot on W. Broadway. Next week SP will move to the Pacific Electric passenger station on W. Ocean Avenue, effective April 5th. The SP freight office will remain at Broadway & Alamitos.

--August. 16, 1919: A general strike is called on PE; system stops.

--August. 25, 1919: Partial Pacific Electric service restored to Los Angeles and local cars back on E. 3rd, American Avenue, E. 7th Street ---Normal service on San Pedro and Seal Beach Lines.

--September. 8, 1919: All service normal. PE's San Pedro Line which now crosses the Cerritos Slough at W. 9th Street will be rerouted across a temporary bridge across the flood control pilot channel at W. 3rd Street on Jan 5, 1920. Will use this bridge until tracks are completed on the W. 7th Street bridge and along the east levee of the new channel from 3rd Street. to 7th Street.

--February. 25, 1924: Pacific Electric has made the City of Long Beach the following offer:
Expenditure of $1,500,000 for exclusive rights in Long Beach by electric streetcars and jitneys, Pacific Electric asks for a 35 year franchise, universal transfers, 6 cents fare, ten rides for 50 cents tickets. Pacific Electric rail lines on Magnolia Avenue and from Willowville to East Long Beach would be discontinued. Would extend rails out 14th Street east and also out east on E. 7th Street to Recreation Park. Build an extension from Redondo Avenue easterly along Vista Street to a junction with the Newport Line. Pacific Electric would also operate the following bus lines: American Avenue from downtown to Obispo Avenue; Pine, 4th and Atlantic to Newport Beach Line; Orange Avenue from Ocean to Willow Street; Cherry Avenue from Ocean Avenue to Willow Street; Ocean Boulevard from downtown to Alamitos Bay; discontinuing the rail service between Mira Mar and Alamitos Bay; Ocean Boulevard Magnolia and Willow Street, downtown to Cherry Avenue; Ocean Boulevard from downtown to Seaside Park. 10th, 4th, Atlantic and Ocean Boulevard; if streetcar line not built on 14th Street, then busses on Anaheim Street, downtown to Recreation Park, or a new streetcar line on Anaheim Street.

--April 6, 1924: Pacific Electric began building its new line through Belmont Shore last week. The new line is single track, with 7,000 feet of track starting at Livingston Drive, running through 2nd Street to Bay Shore Drive, bridging Alamitos Bay and continuing through Naples to connect with the Newport Line. 3,000 ft. of track on 2nd Street are 128 lb. girder rail, and 4,000 ft. of track on private right of way are 75 lb. 'T' rail.

--March 25, 1924: Pacific Electric asks for franchise to double track E. 3rd Street between Pine and American Avenues.

--July 1, 1924: Two car lines discontinued. Due to severe power shortage, the Pine Avenue and Magnolia Avenue lines will temporarily be stopped, with patrons referred to paralleling bus lines on Daisy Avenue, 10th Street and State Street.

--October 1, 1924: Operation begins on new Belmont Shore Line. The Belmont Shore Company donated the right of way and $63,000. Two new lines operate over this new trackage: the Naples Local Line, running to Naples Junction on the Newport Line; and the reborn Long Beach-Huntington Beach Line, six cars each way daily, 14.5 miles, 46 minutes, 38 cents one way, 63 cents round trip.

--June 19, 1925: Pacific Electric offers to build an elevated railroad from 6th & Main, Los Angeles, to 14th Street Long Beach.

--February 24, 1940: All remaining Pacific Electric local rail lines in Long Beach are abandoned except for a daily franchise car; busses substituted by the Lang Motor Bus Co.

--November 17, 1940: Long Beach's last local car rolled into the barn this morning, marking the close of a 38 year chapter in the city's history. It is not probable that streetcars ever again will ply Long Beach streets. Yesterday morning members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce were on hand to write finis to the street railway. Removal of Pacific Electric local rail lines trackage is due soon. The final run was made possible and officially by the order issued last week by the Interstate Commerce Commission when it denied the application of the Railway Laborers Executive Association and others for a rehearing of the abandonment proceedings.

--November 25, 1940: Rails are being removed on Redondo Avenue and in Belmont Shore area. Rail removal program presented by Pacific Electric calls for following lines to be ripped up: open track on Alamitos Bay Line from Termino Avenue to east city limits; grooved girder rail in pavement, Grant to Termino Avenue; open track on 14th Street, Pine to American; E. 2nd Street in Belmont Shore from Livingston Drive to Bay Shore; open track, Belmont Shore Line, from Bay Shore Drive to Naples Junction; girder rail from paved streets: Obispo Avenue 3rd to Broadway; thence west on Broadway to Junipero Avenue; Redondo Avenue, 2nd Street to 11th Street except for west track between 10th & 11th; E. 3rd, Pine Avenue to American Avenue; Pine, 10th to Ocean; Pacific, Ocean to 1st; 1st, Pacific to Pine; ---

And so all remaining local rail lines disappeared from Long Beach...

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