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Redondo via Gardena Line
REDONDO VIA GARDENA LINE
This line was one of the two PE interurban lines serving the city of Redondo Beach; the other was the Redondo via Playa del Rey Line(see PE Western District). Neither line was constructed by Old PE---the line via
Gardena having been built by the Los Angeles & Redondo Railway, the Line via del Rey having been a Los Angeles Pacific project. Of the two, the Gardena route was the more direct, but the del Rey route was more scenic and had more traffic free private way.
ROUTE: From 6th & Main via elevated track, San Pedro St., E. 9th St. to Hooper where the four-track system was joined; thence to Watts, where this line branched to the southwest via South Los Angeles, Strawberry Park, Gardena, El Nido to Redondo Beach and Clifton, the end of the line.
This line was double-tracked its entire length.
MILEAGES: Los Angeles: 0.00
Slauson Junction.: 4.27
South LA: 9.88
Strawberry Park: 12.75
El Nido: 17.84
Redondo Beach: 20.89
HISTORY: That segment from Watts to South Los Angeles was built by New PE in 1912. (PE Land Co. built a small portion of this segment). The segment from South Los Angeles to Strawberry Park was built by LA&R in 1907. The segment from Strawberry Park to Redondo was built in 1889-90 as a steam railroad by the Redondo Railway Co. That segment from Redondo to Clifton(also spelled Cliffton) was built by LA&R in 1906. All these lines were narrow-gauge, except Watts-South Los Angeles.
Starting immediately after the Great Merger of 1911, New PE proceeded to standard gauge the above route between South Los Angeles and Clifton. It was opened as a standard-gauge line on November 12, 1911.
New PE operated this line until final abandonment on January 15, 1940. Rail between Moneta and Clifton was removed in 1941.
EQUIPMENT: In 1911, ex LA&R cars of the New PE 450 Class were used.
By 1913, New PE 800s were assigned, these continuing until succeeded by 1000 Class cars about 1925, although some 800 Class cars were used as late as 1929. Six cars were required to fill schedules.
TRACK From to Rail Ties Ballast
Watts South L.A. 75 R R
So. L.A. Strawberry Park 70 R S
Strawberry Hermosillo 60 R D
Hermosillo Bridgedale 75* R R
Bridgedale Perry 60 R S
Perry El Nido 75* R R
El Nido Redondo 60 R S
Redondo Pearl St. 72 R GA
Pearl St. Ave. "A" 70 R GM
Ave. "A" Clifton 60 R S
* Single track R: Redwood R: Rock S: Samd D: Dirt
GA: Gravel, asphalt GM Gravel, macadam
ELECTRICAL FACILITIES: In addition to substations already listed for Long Beach Line between Los Angeles and Watts, this line's energy was supplied by the following substations:
No. 16 Strawberry Park
No. 43 El Nido
CAR STORAGE: Storage facilities for cars were located at Redondo Beach and Clifton, as well as the facilities at the 7th St. Surface Tracks, LA. The
two Redondo yards had combined capacity of 17 cars.
FREIGHT: Very little freight hauling was done west of Hermosillo; as this Watts-Hermosillo freight is more properly identified with the San Pedro-Torrance Line, it is covered herein under this line.
What little freight there was west of Hermosillo was mostly lumber destined for Moneta. But 14 cars of freight were hauled over the Redondo via Gardena Line west of Hermosillo in 1937, of which 12 were billed to Moneta, two to Perry.
PASSENGERS: (Fare & Transfer)
Year Passengers Car Miles Revenue
1913 1,666,479 843,291 $ 253,138
1914 1,712,410 850,560 257,854
1916 1,370,584 628,815 186,4445
1918 1,281,613 601,534 161,557
1920 1,198,414 485,718 140,485
1922 906,267 474,262 205,663
1924 822,698 403,890 171,510
1926 482,260 305,325 102,484
1928 424,550 279,518 80,828
1930 591,141 494,525 107,279
1932 332,683 407,344 64,050
1934 307,013 324,529 53,584
1936 378,951 308,638 61,525
1938 319,602 272,627 59,955
MISCELLANEOUS: As of 1927, 34 trains were operated over this line on a
normal weekday: 17 outbound(15 to Clifton, 2 to Redondo only), 17 inbound
(14 from Clifton, 3 from Redondo). Headway ranged from 30 minutes in the peak hours to 2 hrs. 50 min. at night. Six crews were required; three worked out of Redondo and three out of 6th & Main. Running time through to Clifton required about one hour flat.
Service on this line was related to service furnished on the LA-San Pedro via Torrance Line and LA-Hawthorne-El Nido-El Segundo Line, which see.
The average number of fare passengers carried daily in 1926 was 1,270. Revenue per car mile was 33 cents in 1926. By 1938 the revenue per car mile had dropped to 22 cents.
Due to construction of highways, certain segments of this line were rebuilt on new private way. When this took place, the new trackage was single track instead of the original double track.
This line was abandoned because of poor patronage. To quote the 1939 survey made by the California Railroad Commission:
"Traffic and earning characteristics of this line do not justify the continuance of its operation in passenger rail service. Between Los Angeles and Watts there is other available rail service. Between Watts and Hermosillo, for the small amount of business handled, some form of motor
coach extension, possibly Los Angeles Motor Coach Company's Western Ave. Line, would serve adequately, there being insufficient business between Hermosillo and Redondo Beach to justify passenger service of any type."
Abandonment of this line set a precedent in that no form of substitute motor
coach operation was installed. Former patrons were left to their own devices to obtain transportation.
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