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WPacific Electric logoPacific Electric
Lines Of The Southern District

Summary:
WThe Pacific Electric Southern District was the last of the three major districts to open and it outlasted the others; which perhaps is a tribute to its builders. For the Southern District was the one part of Pacific Electric which was entirely the work of Henry E. Huntington and Epes Randolph. There is in existence Randolph's own map whereon he sketched (back in 1901) his ideas of where Southern District lines should go. So well did Randolph understand the topography and growth factors of the countryside between Los Angeles and its southern beaches that the Pacific Electric's lines followed his sketch exactly---and none can argue that Randolph erred in a single instance on any of the lines he laid out.
WThe Southern District was not the biggest district, nor did it tap glamourous cities known the world over. The South perhaps can be likened to a laborer if the North is an office worker or citrus grower and the West a motion picture extra or small business man. In freight, the South was head-and-shoulders above the others; its tonnage trains to and from the harbor were in a class by themselves. In passengers, the South was not nearly as impressive; it had the Watts Local(high in numbers carried, low in revenue) and the Long Beach Line(on good beach days, spectacular).
WThe South was the only district of the Big Three to have been a standard-gauge operation from the beginning. It was the Long Beach Line which was the guinea pig, and its success with high speed interurban cars made the change over of previously constructed 3'-6" gauge lines to 4'-8" inevitable.
WIn this work we have taken these lines geograpically from 6th & Main Station. The Long Beach Line, the backbone of the South, is divided into three parts: Los Angeles Terminal District, Four Tracks, and the remainder. The coastal lines are handled next, then the interior lines south of the Four Tracks and finally those west of the Four Tracks. General services are considered incompatible groupings and the reader is not commanded to jump his attention from one area to another some distance removed.
WLines of the Southern District ranged from the spectacular Four Tracks to the remote and lonesome Santa Ana-Huntington Beach streak of rust--from the humming San Pedro via Dominguez major artery to the wandering La Habra-Fullerton capillary. On the South there was variety galore: heavy thundering six-car Catalina Specials, and the peripathetic "jugger" that ran when it pleased between Torrance Shops and downtown Torrance. There was the Watts Local---on a par with the glittering Hollywood Boulevard Line of the Western District insofar as equipment was concerned, but quite a contrast otherwise. There was the busy Long Beach-San Pedro Line, industriously playing out its skein of days far removed from 6th & Main. The South had the seaside Newport-Balboa Line whose average speed of 30.1 miles per hour was second on the entire system to the San Bernardino Line's 30.6; the South also had the Santa Ana-Orange Line with speeds considerably less.
WAll lines had certain common historical developments: In 1953, PE sold its passenger business to Metropolitan Coach Lines, and in 1958 MCL sold out to the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority. LAMTA was chartered to create a rapid transit network based upon bus routes.
WIt is an historical fact that the Pacific Electric Long Beach Line (now largely in service again as the MTA's Blue Line) outlived every other interurban west of Chicago. The line, along with its companion Watts Local Line, was the the only oasis in the rubber tire-asphalt desert through 1961 when so-called progress consigned the once great Pacific Electric system into oblivion.

OFFICAL P.E. SOUTHERN DIVISION MILEAGE FIGURES (as of June 30, 1914)
LineFromToMiles(2-track)
E. 9th ST., LA7th & Main9th & Sante Fe2.1281.762
Gardena-San PedroHermosilloSan Pedro7.736
---
Gardena-San PedroCity LimitsCity Limits2.733
---
Hawthorne BranchBelvidereHawthorne3.862
---
Hunt. Bch-Santa AnaHuntington BeachSanta Ana13.143.093
La HabraLos NietosCounty Line5.892.262
La HabraCounty LineStern11.652
---
Long Beach Line7th & Main, LACity Limits4.2154.215
Long Beach LineCity LimitsLB City Limits13.81513.815
Long Beach LineLB City LimitsSeaside Park2.6792.679
Newport LineLB LineCounty Line3.7233.723
Newport LineCounty LineNewport16.2469.228
Newport LineLB City LimitsLB City Limits2.3512.351
San Pedro LineDominquez Jct.City Limits4.4874.487
San Pedro LineCity LimitsSan Pedro5.6325.227
Santa Ana LineWattsCounty Line12.51912.519
Santa Ana LineCounty LineSanta Ana13.8909.275
Santa Ana-Orange4th & Main St, Santa AnaOrange3.3821.300
TorranceDolancoCity Limits1.486
---
TorranceCity LimitsOcean Ave.1.456
---
Vermont Hts. Branch2.085
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Watts-RedondoCity LimitsCity Limits.596.596
Watts-RedondoWattsClifton14.70813.907
WhittierSlauson Jct.Whittier13.34312.406
West BasinSan Pedro LineTorrance Line2.4502.450
7th & Central YardsCentral Ave.14th St.10.179
---
6th & Main TerminalMain St.7th St.0.8620.862
Latin Yards--Long Beach at Graham: 1.565 miles yards & sidings

Car Assignments, system wide, 1921
02045050070080010001200Total
Southern1126238113
Northern31984410922115
Western235762
Los Angeles City22022
Southern District assignments: an 020 on Triangle Trolley Trip; 500s: Watts, Long Beach-San Pedro and as extras; 800s on San Pedro via Dominguez, Newport-Balboa, Santa Ana, Whittier, Redondo-Gardena, Torrance; 1000s on Long Beach and Santa Ana.

The following is a listing of multiple-unit passenger equipment available for service on the Southern District on July 21, 1921:
02045050070080010001200TotalService
Catalina51217As needed
San Pedro15153-car trains
Long Beach7632454-car trains, 10"
Newport1924433 & 4 car trains, 20"
Redondo21213-car trains, 20"
Santa Ana882 car-trains
LB-SP662 car-trains
Note the strange things that were happening that day: 450s to Newport, 020s (950s) to San Pedro, no 1200s at all, 500s to Catalina, Long Beach and Redondo (of all places) and 450s betwewen Long Beach and San Pedro.




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