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This line, one of PE's biggest, yet an early casualty in the auto war,
provided interurban service between Los Angeles and Whittier and served commuters between between LA, Huntington Park and intermediate communities to Edgewater.
ROUTE: From 6th & Main Station via concourse to Main, 9th, Long Beach Ave.
to Slauson Junction, then east on private way and continued to a junction
with the La-Habra-Fullerton Line at Los Nietos; thence north and northeast
to Whittier Boulevard., thence into Whittier on W. Philadelphia past PE-SP Station at Comstock Ave. to Greenleaf Ave. Inbound route was similar except operated into 6th & Main via E 9th St., San Pedro St. and the elevated tracks.
MILEAGES: Los Angeles 0.00
Slauson Junction. 4.27
Huntington Park 5.42
Maywood Ave. 6.73
Rio Hondo 11.40
Santa Fe Springs 14.50
State School 16.71
HISTORY: This was Old PE's second Southern District LIne; first work on this line was performed on March 1, 1902, continuing until December 31, 1903 at which time a single track line had been completed all the way into Whittier.
On January 12, 1904, old PE turned the Whittier single track line over to LAIU and deeded it to that company on July 1, 1904. LAIU immediately constructed the second track, the wye to the Long Beach Line at Slauson Junction., and various spurs. The Whittier Line was opened as a double track line in September, 1904. (It had opened as a single track line on November 7, 1903.)
PE took over operation of the line under lease on July 1, 1908. On September 1, 1911, this line was turned over to New PE in the Great Merger.
This line's service was cut to one round trip daily on September 1, 1935; the single trip disappeared on January 22, 1938. However, local service continued as far as Walker until abandoned on March 6, 1938.
EQUIPMENT: PE's 800 Class dominated this line throughout its life; it opened the line(as Old PE's 300 Class) and operated through to the end,
augmented by 1000 Class cars and various wooden combos of the 1350-1360 Classes. The Walker local line used 600 Class EQUIPMENT.
TRACK: This line was constructed with 60 lb. rail, redwood ties and dirt
and gravel ballast. At various times its rail was replaced by 75 and 90
lb. steel. The line was single-tracked in 1941.
ELECTRICAL FACILITIES: Energy for this line was supplied by substation
33(Slauson) 9(Laguna), and 10(Los Nietos), in addition to those located on the Long Beach Line north of Slauson Junction.
CAR STORAGE: Overnight storage was provided for Whittier Line cars at Whittier, Edgewater, Laguna, and the 7th St. surface tracks in Los Angeles.
FREIGHT: Agricultural products played an important part insofar as items
contributing to freight revenues derived from the Whittier Line were concerned. The city of Whittier was the most important freight location,
accounting for 75% of cars, tons and revenue as of 1935.
Other important freight originating points were Walker and Rivera.
With establishment of heavy industry along this line(starting about 1924) a
much more varied type of freight began to be handled. The old reliable
citrus packing houses gave way in importance to auto assembly plants and
PASSENGERS: (fARE AND TRANSFER)
Year Passengers Car Miles Revenue
1913 1,078,613 428,022 $161,910
1914 1,020,503 419,702 144,434
1916 816,445 399,429 112,002
1918 740,651 356,263 95,478
1920 706,568 316,433 91,458
1922 910,120 379,670 142,912
1923* 1,139,480 415,232 190,445
1924 974,030 401,486 157,298
1926 782,764 382,043 123,713
MISCELLANEOUS: The Whittier Line was perhaps the least well laid out of all the Southern District Lines build by Old PE. It's round-about-route
was an Achilles heel which proved fatal after the construction of the direct paved boulevard in the mid-Twenties. Motor Transit established a fast competing bus line soon thereafter and took away most of the thru business.
Additional local service was provided by trains of the La Habra-Fullerton
Line between Los Nietos-Santa Fe Springs and Los Angeles.
As of 1928, there were 12 regular runs engaged in passenger service on the Whittier Line; 8 of these were in Whittier service and 4 in the Edgewater-Laguna tripper service. A total of 71 trains was operated on week
days at the same period; 37 of these were outbound, 34 inbound. A total of nine cars were required to fulfill this schedule.
The Los Angeles River, the Rio Hondo and the San Gabriel Rivers presented
rainy weather threats to the continued operation of this line. Repeated washouts of the original pile trestle over these water courses tied up the line to a degree which resulted in steel bridges replacing the trestles in the Twenties and Thirties.
The first Whittier Station was in a two-story building on the northeast corner of Greenleaf & Philadelphia; track continued south on Greenleaf two
blocks to a small yard on northeast corner of Penn St.
Railroad crossings: (from Slauson)
MP 0.44 Alameda St. SP Stop, go
MP 1.13 Pacific Boulevard LARY Stop, go*
MP 3.35 Bell UP Interlocker
MP 10.05 Santa Fe Springs. AT & SF Interlocker
MP 12.41 Philadelphia SP Flag
*observe traffic signals if working
In 1922 the freight station was moved from Greenleaf & Penn St. to Philadelphia & Commercial Streets. due to heavy increase in LCL business; the old unused freight station at Hermosa Beach was moved to Whittier.
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