Long Beach, for many years the county's second city, had its beginning on December 5, 1882 as "Willmore City". William Erwin Willmore on that date filed the first survey and subdivision with the county clerk and proceeded to advertise throughout the United States. Response was slow; at the end of two years there were but a dozen houses on the beautiful grass-covered plain adjacent to today's American Ave-Anaheim St. Area. Willmore's plan collapsed in 1884 and the tract reverted to the Bixby rancho.
The outlines remained, however---the wide streets laid out by Willmore, each of a width of eighty feet(except Magnolia, Pacific, Atlantic, and California which were one hundred feet wide, and American Ave. 125 feet in width) and the attractive Lincoln Park still exist today.
A new syndicate took over, and in 1887 a new city, Long Beach, was born when its official map was recorded on July 30th.
Growth since then has been steady. In the Great Boom of 1887-88 Long Beach got its share of new settlers and became an established seaside resort with railroad service provided to Los Angeles by Southern Pacific which even in 1888 ran several trains daily. In 1891 the Los Angeles Terminal Railroad built through Long Beach to reach Terminal Island, and in 1902 the Pacific Electric completed its high-speed line to Los Angeles, giving the beach city its greatest impetus. Starting then, the population increased tremendously: 48,000 in 1914, 285,000 in 1954, and more than 350,000 in 1961.
Oil was discovered in 1921 at Signal Hill; a modern harbor was built which by 1930 was capable of handling a million tons of cargo annually; a major naval base and a huge aircraft factory came in World War II. Its 1933 earthquake gave its buildings a modern appearance after reconstructions. PE played a major role in building this great modern city.
THE LOCAL LINES: Long Beach was a unique city to Old PE, for it was one of the few communities wherein no electric railway lines had existed prior to PE's coming to town. PE, therefore, built Long Beach's entire local railway system, based on the brick carhouse at Fifth & American, later succeeded by Fairbanks Yard.
|LONG BEACH LOCAL LINES:||TRAFFIC CHARACTERISTICS:||
|1913||3,844,392||956,147||$ 167,832||$ 0.0437||$ 0.0176||1914||4,385,207||992,361||194,022||.0442||.196||1915||2,896,252||993,111||125,059||.0432||.126||1916||4,793,475||1,027,344||119,414||.0249||.110||1917||2,999,940||924,496||131,639||.0439||.142||1918||3,457,947||902,312||154,694||.0443||.172||1919||4,260,626||926,132||199,644||.0469||.216||1920||4,404,123||932,103||214,459||.0487||.230||Calendar|
|Fare & Transfer|
|1920||4,679,460||1,052,340||$ 253,812||$ 0.0542||$0.241||1921||4,638,785||1,089,570||288,128||.0621||.264||1922||4,754,099||1,094,204||277,874||.0584||.254||1923||5,610,720||1,119,261||333,081||.0590||.295||1924||4,781,113||1,149,468||279,367||.0584||.243||1925||4,151,260||1,217,700||235,297||.0567||.193||1926||4,148,260||1,213,518||232,797||.0561||.192|
MILEAGES: As of August 31, 1911, PE owned the following local electric railway lines in Long Beach and vicinity, of which the following is the mileage:
|Name of the Line||2 Tracks||1 Track||Misc.||E.S.T.|
|Car House, outside tracks--------||---||---||0.21||0.21|
|(The above from PE Official History)|
|As of June 30, 1914, the following mileages were official:|
|Alamitos Bay||Ocean & Esper.||L.B. City Limit||2.602||1.825|
|" "||City Limits||Orange Co. Line||1.159||----|
|" "||County Line||Newport Line||0.942||----|
|Alamitos Ext.||Ocean & American||City Limits||3.598||2.644|
|" "||City Limits||Newport Line||0.369||----|
|Magnolia Ave.||14th & American||Ocean & Mag.||1.624||0.220|
|Pine Ave.||Ocean & Pine||14th & Pine||1.193||1.193|
|Pacific Ave Loop Ocean & Pacific||First & Pine||0.169||0.169|
|Seventh St.||Redondo Ave.||Cerritos Slough||3.034||3.034|
|Seaside Park||Daisy & Ocean||Mendocino-Pac B||0.978||0.978|
|Third St.||Ry & Esperanza||Junction. LB-SP Line||1.905||0.41|
LOCAL LINES: As of 1923, local lines operated by PE in Long Beach were as follows:
American Ave.-North Long Beach Line
E. Third St.-Redondo Ave. Line
E. Seventh St. Line
Magnolia Ave. Line
Pine Ave. Line
Seaside Park Line
Long Beach-Alamitos Bay-Seal Beach Line
Taking up these lines in order:
American Ave.-North Long Beach Line:
This line ran entirely on tracks of the interurban line to Los Angeles. Its downtown terminus was at the PE Station at the corner of Ocean Ave. & Pacific. From there its cars operated east on Ocean to American Ave.(Long Beach Boulevard.), thence north on American Ave. to a terminus in North Long Beach at the junction of the Newport Line, a short distance north of Willow St. The line was 2.85 miles, all double track.
Operation of this line was discontinued on June 1, 1935; thereafter the interurban trains made all local stops. This continued until abandonment of the interurban on April 9, 1961.
E. Third St.-Redondo Ave. Line:
Route: From Pacific Ave. Station, north on Pacific to First, east to Pine to Olive; 1915, Olive, E Third to Broadway; 1904, Broadway from Olive to Redondo Ave.; 1902, Redondo Ave. from Broadway to Zaferia; 1904, Newport Line. Abandoned February 24, 1940.
All double track. E. Third St. second track installed 1911, using rails removed that year from abandoned E. First St.
E. Seventh St. Line:
Route: From Pacific Ave. Station, north on Pacific to First St., east to Pine, north on Pine to Seventh, east to Redondo Ave.
History: Built 1909; opened to Alamitos Ave. on June 17, 1909; opened to Redondo Ave. in 1910. Second track added, 1911. Abandoned, February 24, 1940.
Magnolia Ave. Line:
Route: From Pacific Ave Station, west on Ocean Ave. to Magnolia, north to Ninth, northeast on private way to Loma Vista Drive., north on private way to Virginia Court, northeast on private way, east on 14th St. to American Ave.(junction). Single track.
History: Built between February and June 1904; abandoned June 24, 1928.
Pine Ave. Line:
Route: From Pacific Ave. Station, north on Pacific to First, east to Pine, north to 14th St., east to American Ave. (junction)
History: Pine Ave., Ocean to 6th St., constructed 1906; Pine Ave. 6th to 14th, built 1910. Abandoned, July 1924.
Seaside Park Line:
Route: From Pacific Ave. Station, west on Ocean Ave. to Golden Ave., north on private way to Seventh St., west on bridge over Flood Control Channel to Water(Pico) St., south on private way to Seaside Park(Mendocino Ave.)
History: Built 1904 as extension of Los Angeles interurban Line; abandoned, January 12, 1928.
Long Beach-Alamitos Bay-Seal Beach Line:
Route: From Pacific Ave. Station via Pacific Ave., First St., Pine Ave., to Third St., thence east on Third to Olive Ave., south to Broadway, east to Paloma Ave.(junction with Redondo Ave. Line), southeast on private way, to Mira Mar(S. Grand Ave.-Ocean Boulevard.-Livingston Drive.); here this line split, with one branch continuing east on Ocean Boulevard. and private way paralleling the ocean shore, to Alamitos Bay(Pier Ave.) and Seal Beach(Main St.) where it turned northeast on Main St. to Central Ave.and curved right where tracks joined the Newport Line. The other branch from Mira Mar followed Livingston Drive. northeast to E 2nd St., then passed through the business section of Belmont Shore, through the Naples section to Naples Junction., where it joined the Newport Line.
History: Trackage used by this line from Pacific Ave. Station to E. Third & Redondo Ave. has already been covered. From there to Alamitos Bay, built 1904. The Alamitos Bay-Seal Beach(then Bay City)-Newport Line segment was constructed in 1913. From Mira Mar to Livingston Drive. & E 2nd St. built 1924. All above trackage abandoned February 24, 1940.
E. Third Street:
Route: On W. Third from Pine to junction with Wilmington Line. Built 1904; 0.675 mile.
History: Built 1904; abandoned 1940.
Note: This was an independent local line until June 25, 1910, when interurban cars to San Pedro began operating. They performed local service over this line until they were abandoned in 1940.
TRACKAGE ABANDONED PRIOR TO 1923:
E. Ocean Ave.-Esperanza Ave.:
Route: From Ocean & American, east on E. Ocean Ave. to Mira Mar, 2.50 miles, double track. This was first PE local line in Long Beach and even was used by interurban trains to a terminus at east city limits in 1905. In connection with securing the franchise to construct this line, PE had to agree to landscape the bluffs along the ocean Shore east of Bixby Park; the resulting park-like promenade is still in use today.
History: Built 1902 to Esperanza St.(the east city limits); 1904 to Mira Mar. Abandoned 1915.
Route: From E Ocean & Esperanza north to Esperanza to Broadway(Railway St.) where was located famed Esperanza Junction. Length, 0.22 miles, single track.
History: Built 1903; abandoned 1915.
Esperanza Ave. (Broadway to E. Third St.)
Route: On Esperanza from Esperanza Junction. (Broadway) north to E. Third St., 0.11 mile, all single track.
History: Built 1904; abandoned 1915.
E. First-E. Second:
Route: E. First St. from Pine Ave. east to Alamitos Ave. east to Esperanza Ave. Single Track.
History: PE never wanted to built this line, as it was closely paralleled by Ocean Ave. and E. Third ST. However, the LA Traction Co was after this franchise in 1901 and PE outbid that company in self defense. Its rails were used to double track E. Third St.
W. Seventh St.:
Route: On W. Seventh ST. from Pine Ave. to L.A. River channel. Double track; 0.89 mile.
History: Built 1910 to PE Wilmington Line; extended 1700 feet west and southwest , 1914. Abandoned, 1915.
Route: From Livingston Drive. & E. 2nd St. northeast on private way to junction with the Newport Line (old Naples Junction). 0.78 mile, single track.
History: Built 1903; abandoned 1917.
Note: This connection enabled the Long Beach-Huntington Beach Line and the Long Beach-Naples Line to operate.
Route: From Newport Line to Naples, 0.54 mile, all on private way.
History: Built 1907-08; abandoned date unknown; track removed 1924.
Note: Line built to promote Naples.
Municipal Dock Line:
Route: From Pine & Ocean to municipal Wharf on Watter St. Route out of downtown Long Beach uncertain.
History: No official record.
Route: From Pine & Ocean to municipal wharf on Water St. Route out of downtown Long Beach uncertain.
This line probably came into being due to PE's taking over rail freight service to the Long Beach municipal docks in 1910. An hourly service was given for passengers as of 1912, with the line through routed with the Willow Local up American Ave. Probably passenger service was abandoned about 1915, although tracks retained for freight switching. Paul Shoup, PE President, told a gathering of traffic men at Long Beach in early 1916: "Your Long Beach city lines have fallen to the point where they do not only fail to pay ordinary operating expenses, but they do not even pay transportation expenses---that is, the power to move the cars over the tracks. Some of your tracks have disappeared and others must go. A crisis has been reached. The issue is before you." In June of that year, PE required permission to abandon its West Seventh St. Line. Much of the blame could be traced to the jitney busses which were springing up in Long Beach, as rapidly as anywhere else on the system. In December, 1916, the Long Beach Transportation Company was formed to operate two bus lines with 5 cent fares and free transfers. Thus began the intense bus competition which continued to the end. On September 12, 1921, PE completed studies as to the advisability of abandoning its Magnolia and Pine Ave. Lines in Long Beach. Some items from this report are of sufficient interest to warrant publishing.
Magnolia Ave. Line: Single track; 1.63 miles from Ocean to American Ave.
"We are confronted with an annual failure of approximately $6,144 to meet cost of present service and an annual failure of approximately $20,460 to meet all charges against the line. Abandonment and removal would mean a total cash outlay(considering loss of revenue) of $15,562 but we have offsetting the total of the salvage value of land and materials amounting to $14,840, or a net cost of removal of $1,722. Attention is called to the fact that in considering salvage values of land, the right of way running down the center of 14th St. has been omitted. This undoubtedly would be of more value to the City of Long Beach for street purposes that to anyone else for other purposes, and if it were granted to the city in return for concessions elsewhere, it might be that one of the concessions would be granted permission to abandon service on this line and allow tracks to remain until such time as Magnolia is repaved, at which time the removal could be effected at much lower cost." Birney 380 and 381 were assigned to this line in July, 1921. Prior to that date, wood cars 144 & 154 had been assigned, operated by two men each.
Pine Ave Line: From 7th to 14th, 0.614 mile.
"We are here maintaining an $86,000 per double track mile type of track from which we derive an annual revenue of $2,935, or about 7/10 of 8% on the valuation of track and overhead. The revenue of 10.44 cents per car mile fails even to cover the bare cost of moving the cars. We must have five times the amount of our present revenue in order to pay expenses. In the not far distant future we will be faced by the expenditure of $35,300 or more for reconstruction." The same two cars as were assigned to Magnolia ran this line. They were leased from S.P., PE paying 7.5% interest and 4.5% depreciation. Car 154 and later 380 on Pine Ave. ran 77 car miles daily; car 144 and later 381 on Magnolia averaged 144 car miles daily. Pine Ave. was double track in asphalt paving to 14th St. private way.
On the whole, Long Beach trailed Pasadena in the quality of its local cars until the advent of the New 100 Class in 1930.
1911: Fifteen of the 200 Class.
1913: Fourteen of the 200 Class.
1914: Nine 120s, ten 200s.
1915: Fourteen 102s, eight 200s, one 400.
1916: Eight 120s, eight 200s.
1918: Eight 120s, Fourteen 200s, one 500.
1920: Two 100s, twenty 120s.
1922: Eleven of the 70 Class(the Dragons from Pasadena renumbered), two 100s, five 120s, and seven 340s (Birneys).
1924: Only three wood cars were left: one 200 and two 120s; also: eleven 70s, Twelve 340s.
1925: Eleven 70s, four 320ss(Birneys), one 430, and twelve 340s.
1928: Eleven 70s, three 170s, seven 320s, seven 340s. Note the reappearance of the 170 Class in Los Angeles area.
1931: Eight of the New 100 Class, seven 320 Class, eight of the 340s, and two 600s, the latter unusual and short-lived.
1933: Nine New 100s, seven 320s, seven 340s.
1936: Nine New 100s, eight 340s.
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