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Santa Monica via Sawtelle Line




From Hill Street Station via Hill Street, W. 16th Street (Venice Boulevard), private way to Beverly Hills Station where junction was made with the Santa Monica Boulevard Line; thence via private way adjacent to and on paved track in Santa Monica Boulevard to Sawtelle and Santa Monica; thence to Ocean Avenue and Trolleyway to Windward Avenue, Venice.


From 4th & Hill Streets, to Beverly Hills, 10.19 miles, this route was constructed by Pasadena & Pacific Railway Company in 1897. From Beverly Hills to Santa Monica the line was built in 1896. From Santa Monica to Ocean Park was built in 1896 by P&P; from Ocean Park to Venice, 1901. Pacific Electric took over operation of this line in 1911. It continued to operate until July 7, 1940, when bus conversion occurred.

OPERATION: As of July, 1911, all service except a few owl pull-ins operated through to and from Venice, with base running time of 64 minutes, with 30 minute headway. On November 1, 1926, this line and the Venice Short Line were combined, making a loop service, but on February 1, 1927, the union was sundered; thereafter nearly all Sawtelle trains terminated at Santa Monica with the only exception being pull-ins to the Ocean Park Carhouse. Limiteds were introduced for the first time on this line in December, 1927; two such trains began running in the evening rush hour. In October, 1928, a morning limited train was added. 1933 witnessed service cuts; base service operated every 40 minutes with 30 minute nights and Sundays when the Brentwood Line was but a shuttle. Limiteds, remained. Running time, Hill Street Station to Broadway Station in Santa Monica was 60 minutes. This service remained in effect substantially until abandonment in 1940.


From 1911 to 1924, this line was assigned 800 Class and 500 Class equipment; from 1924 to abandonment, 800 and 950 Classes served.


For that portion of this line between Hill Street Station and Vineyard, see W. 16th Street Line. From Vineyard to Sawtelle (West Los Angeles), track was on private way with 75-lb. T-rail on redwood ties with rock ballast and macadam paving; from 26th Street to Pico Boulevard., rail was 128-lb. girder, on treated ties with rock ballast and asphalt pavement; from Pico Boulevard to Windward Avenue rail was 75-lb. T-rail on redwood ties and rock ballast.


Substations feeding this line were: Burlington (No. 36), Vineyard (37), West Hollywood (38), and Ocean Park (40).


Out of service cars belonging to this line were stored at Hill Street Station (17 cars), Vineyard (34), and Ocean Park Carhouse (65).


Freight service was operated over this line between Vineyard and Sherman Junction and between Beverly Hills and West Los Angeles. Between Vineyard and Sherman Junction, 292 car loads were handled annually as of 1935-36-37; in the same period, 1,330 car loads were hauled to points between Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. Heaviest point was Beverly Hills, where a number of spurs produced a total of 1,130 car loads annually. So profitable was this business, that after passenger service was abandoned, the old inbound main line was retained between West Los Angeles and Hollywood. Daily except Sunday box motor and RPO service was also provided. A total of seven such runs were carded as of 1938 with three of these being RPO.


Passenger traffic on this line was definitely handicapped by the sluggish performance of the cars within highly congested districts. It was necessary to consume 22% of the running time to negotiate but 4% of the distance as of 1939. As of the same year, 31 cars were needed at peak periods, 8 at minimum periods. A schedule speed of 19.0 mph maximum, 14.0 mph minimum was in effect. Peak period headway was 6 minutes, base period 20 minutes. The area served between Hill Street Station and Venice Boulevard. was within the heart of the Los Angeles business district. Venice Boulevard as far as Vineyard began as a business district, gradually changed into residential. From Vineyard to Beverly Hills the district was well developed residentially with numerous small business districts. From Beverly Hills to West Los Angeles residential development was of a more scattered nature; here also the line passed the great 20th Century Fox motion pictured studio as well as large golf courses. Between West Los Angeles and Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, the area traversed was mainly business in nature and residential development immediately to their rear. The remainder of the route traversed beach communities wherein residential development was highly concentrated. Heavy bus competition was suffered by this line. Santa Monica Municipal and Bay Cities Transit offered paralleling service between West Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Ocean Park, while the through bus line to Vineyard (LARy P car line connection) of Santa Monica Municipal was a heavy competitor. The Wilshire Boulevard-Santa Monica bus service of Los Angeles Motor Coach was also a serious rival for beach business as well as Los Angeles-Beverly Hills traffic. The most impressive viaduct on this line was the grade crossing separation at Pico Boulevard, near Vineyard; this was opened for service on November 16, 1927, and in connection with the adjoining grade crossing separation at La Brea Avenue, opened about the same time, afforded an impressive demonstration of PEs desire to curb grade crossing tragedies.

PASSENGERS (Fare & Transfer)
YearPassengersCar MilesRevenue
1929 was the best year, with 2,644,512 passengers carried.

Hill Street Station0.00
Carthay Circle7.73
Beverly Hills10.18
Santa Monica17.13

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