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Santa Ana Line

WThe Santa Ana Line diverged from the Long Beach Line at Watts and proceeded in a southeasterly direction straight as an arrow until reaching the city of Santa Ana which it entered on Fourth Street. Most service terminated at the PE Station, but a few continued on about 2/3 of a mile eastward to the Southern Pacific Station.

WThis line served the towns of Lynwood, Clearwater, Bellflower, Artesia, Cypress, Stanton, and Garden Grove en route. In its original condition, the Santa Ana Line was entirely double tracked except for certain bridges where single track was considered sufficient. In 1940-41, this line lost one track and thereby much of its ability to render a superior service. Much of the rails and fastenings realized when this line was single-tracked went into the well known Shipyard Railway, connecting Oakland and the Kaiser Shipyards at Richmond.

WThe territory served by this line was primarily agricultural in nature; in later years considerable growth occurred, but new residents depended on automobiles for transportation rather than the big red cars.

Los Angeles0.00
Garden Grove28.51
Santa Ana PE33.61
Santa Ana SP34.00

WPE controlled the Santa Ana Line in 1903, when preliminary surveys were run and the right-of-way obtained. On January 12, 1904, this line was turned over to the Los Angeles Interurban Railway (LAIU) and was deeded to LAIU on July 1, 1904, and the completed line was opened for service on November 6, 1905.

WPE took over this line under lease on July 1, 1908. On November 1, 1911 under terms of the Great Merger, this line became the property of New PE. Passenger service on that portion of this line between Bellflower and Santa Ana was discontinued on July 2, 1950. Abandonment of the Bellflower Line occurred on May 25, 1958.

WThe Santa Ana Line enjoyed superior equipment, being on a par with the best lines except for the period 1921-1940 when the second rank 1000s were assigned. (It should be noted that the 1000 Class car was the Southern District's best equipment prior to the advent of the Long Beach Twelves in 1921.)

Equipment by year:
1905-1925:800 class
1925-1940:1000 class
1940-1942:1200 class
1942-1950:1200, 4500 (300), 4600(400) classes; occasionally 1100's
1950-1958:300, 400 class
Of interest is the fact that this line, being virtually flat, was the only line the ex-Visalia motors operated on in 1919-1920.

WRefer to the Long Beach Line for description of trackage between 6th & Main and Watts.
As of 1939, the following conditions prevailed:
WattsStanton60 lb.RD
StantonGarden Grove60*RG
Garden GroveSanta Ana60RD
*Inbound track was 75 lb. rail D: Dirt G: Gravel R: Redwood

Electrical Facilities:
WThe following substations furnished energy for this line (in addition to those already described under Long Beach Line);
  • Substation No. 12 - Bellflower
  • Substation No. 13 - Stanton
  • Substation No. 14 - Santa Ana

Car Storage:
WIn addition to the 7th Street surface tracks, cars for the Santa Ana Line were stored at Bellflower (8 cars) Artesia and Santa Ana.

WThis line was of relatively minor importance to the system total. Based on the 3 year average of 1935-1936-1937, the Santa Ana Line's revenue was but 1.52% of the total. Revenue per mile of line was $1,615 ---decidedly below the major freight lines. Garden Grove was by all odds the most important originating point for freight; in the same three years, Garden Grove averaged 357 cars, with a total tonnage of 7,105 and revenue of $23,857.68. The next most important freight originating point was Santa Ana with 133 cars, 3,626 tons and $6,325 in revenue. Other important stations were Crutcher, Greenville and Dyer---the latter two on the Old Santa Ana-Huntington Beach stub line.

WThe revenue for the year 1947 amounted to $290,000 from freight, which was only about $86,000 more than the estimated operating loss on passenger operations for this line.

WThe flow of freight on this line was overwhelmingly toward Los Angeles. Items handled were first of all citrus products, with general freight making up the balance. After passenger service was abandoned, the line was converted to diesel motive power and still did freight business as far as Beach Boulevard.

WIn 1958 PE freights began operating via SP trackage between Stanton and Santa Ana with joint use of the SP Santa Ana Station; this permitted removal of PE rails on 4th Street between PE Station and West Santa Ana.

PassengersW(Fare and Transfer)
YearPassengersCar MilesRevenue
*Best year
Note: 1950: Cut back to Bellflower on July 2nd
Note: 1958: Abandoned May 25th; figures are to May 31st
Note: 1958: Statistics start 1/24/58 upon resumption after strike

WThe diagonal route of this line in relation to highways permitted a better than average operating speed between the two termini. Until the establishment of Firestone Boulevard (now the Santa Ana Freeway) as a through route about 1935, this line could consistently better the best highway time. The fact that there was no paralleling highway for a substitute bus operation saved this line for continued rail operation several times prior to its final abandonment. To reach settlements located upon the rail line by bus operation would have required a very circuitous zigzagging route that would have required a considerably greater running time.

WNevertheless, when the Santa Ana Line was cut back to Bellflower in 1950, there was no substitute service provided for patrons living in towns between Bellflower and Santa Ana. Further, PE in its abandonment plea (subsequently granted) made no secret of the fact that residents of intermediate towns would be left to find other means of transportation.

WUpon the abandonment of the Bellflower Line in 1958, the Metropolitan Transit Authority did establish a substitute motor coach route which, as was to be expected, had to be routed in a very circuitous fashion; increasing running times and resulting in a further loss of patronage.

WTwo other early-day lines were closely associated with the Santa Ana Line: the cross-country line from Santa Ana to Huntington Beach, and the Santa Ana-Orange Line.

WTo permit removal of rails on Fourth Street in Santa Ana, PE in 1955 effected a connection with the SP at Stanton and secured trackage rights between Stanton and Santa Ana on SP. PE rails were then cut at the western entrance to Santa Ana, leaving a stub track between that point and Stanton. Removal of rails on Fourth Street followed isolating the PE Station, which never-the-less was used for a considerable length of time by buses of the Metropolitan Coach Lines.

WEffective 2:01AM November 12, 1945 both tracks in Fourth Street, Santa Ana, between the PE Station and the SP Station were removed from service.

WThe Santa Ana Line was one of the flattest lines on the PE system. It was the only line on the Southern District on which locomotives were permitted the same tonnage rating in both directions (4500 M in case of 1619-1631 Class engines). For this reason the Santa Ana Line was the only line on which the ex-Visalia Electric motor cars (I 1045, 1364) could operate after being converted to DC power.

WRegister stations (after single tracking) were located at Socorro, Bellflower, and King Street (west end of Fourth Street).

WRailroad crossings were located as follows:

  • Palomar: SP Flag crossing
  • Clearwater: UP Interlocker
  • Stanton: SP 10 mph limit
WOf historical interest is the fact that Old PE first planned to build this line from Santa Ana to Los Angeles via Orange, Fullerton and Whittier.

WIn 1948 PE announced in a Staff Letter that automatic block signals would be installed on the Santa Ana Line between Watts and the end of the private way at 4th & Artesia Streets in Santa Ana. Alas, it was not to be! In 1946 PE re-laid 4th Street in Santa Ana with 128 lb. girder rail removed from Pine Avenue in Long Beach. Effective 2:00AM December 18, 1941 the outbound track from Socorro to King Street in Santa Ana, was removed from service and subsequently removed.

WTrack conditions as of 1949 on the Santa Ana Line were as follows:
Between Watts and Bellflower, ballast was adequate. Ties were in poor shape; the company was far behind in its renewals. The original 60 lb. rail was still being used; it was so badly worn that wheel flanges were cutting into the tops of angle bars. Rail was also badly surface bent. However, not all rail was 60 lb. Between Watts and MP 7.78 there was 90 lb. rail laid in 1945; this was in fair shape but needed relining and resurfacing.
WFrom MP 7.78 to the end of double track at MP 8.17(Socorro) the rail was the 60 lb. steel laid when the line was built. It was of course, in poor shape. From Socorro to Alameda Street (MP 8.73) rail was also 60 lb., and in poor condition.
WFrom Alameda Street to Long Beach Boulevard, MP 9.76, 60 lb. rail was in place, in poor shape.
WAt MP 11.54, 90 lb. rail began, laid in 1945; it continued only as far as MP 15.74, then back down to 60 lb. steel again. This continued to MP 24.81 where 75 lb. rail, laid in 1914, resumed. It continued to MP 28.26, then to a brief stretch of 60 lb. steel, which continued to MP 28.64; there 75 lb. steel resumed, laid in 1914; it continued to MP 29.92, where 70 lb. rail (laid in 1910) began. This ran to MP 30.75, then 60 lb. rail resumed.
WAt MP 30.97 double track began, also 60 lb. steel; this continued to Artesia Street, MP 31.79, where 128 lb. rail, laid in 1946, began and continued to the Santa Ana Station, MP 33.50
WAt this time, (1949) ballast was mostly rock; near Santa Ana there was sand ballast from MP 29.92 to MP 30.97, then no ballast whatsoever to MP 31.37, then sand & gravel to Fourth Street.
Recommendation was made at that time to relay the entire line with 90 lb. steel, but this was never accomplished, although quite a bit of the line actually did get the heavy steel.

WSecond Street Line, Santa Ana: This was a main spur of SP's, 3,530 feet long extending from the SP Station in Santa Ana via Second Street to Bush Street. On March 12 1912, PE entered into a lease with SP, giving PE the right to electrify this trackage and operate it jointly; this track was not used by passenger cars.

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