TIMEPOINTS VOL 17 NO 1 JANUARY, 1959
THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TRACTION REVIEW
Somewhat over-shadowed by the election results, but of great importance to the future of the Division and its members was the resolution approved by a good majority at the December meeting. The resolution, previously passed by the Board by unanimous vote, provides for the dissolution of the Division as soon after 31 January as practicable.
Realizing that this move comes as a surprise to most members, president Harrison pointed out the reasons and need for disassociation from the national Electric Railroaders’ Association.
Briefly, at the national meeting in New York this year, a resolution was tabled until 1959 which would dissolve all Divisions of the ERA. Support for this move is strong at national headquarters, where it is felt that the Divisions are more trouble than they are worth. SC-ERA has experienced this lack of interest through un-answered correspondence and lack of interest in Division affairs.
Here in Los Angeles some officers of the Division have felt for some time that SC-ERA has now reached the stage of development where national affiliation has ceased to improve the position of the club, and could materially prevent its further growth and usefulness to members and friends in the area. As a result, the ERA’s proposed action has stimulated a desire to achieve this status of an independent organization.
Mr. Harrison further explained that in the changeover all current members would be retained and that Timepoints would continue as the publication of the new organization. Subscribers would be unaffected. To all intents and purposes the only change will be in name and legal freedom to operate independently.
ISRAEL AND JOHNSON IN RUN-OFF
Kenneth Harrison , in a landslide of votes, won re-election to his third term as president of the Division. The mail ballots, tabulated at the December Meeting, show that Lazear Israel and Norman Johnson face a run-off election for the office of vice-president. Edmund Keilty won his race for secretary hands down, and James Walker, vice-president in 1958, became the new treasurer in a walk-away in the contest for this office. Total ballots cast: 59
Election of three directors, usually held at the December meeting by members present, was not done pending the result of the run-off for vice-president. It is anticipated that the election of directors will take place at the January meeting.
In one of those mysterious moves that transit properties sometimes make--both privately and publicly owned---the MTA cut Saturday service on rail line R and S from 12 to 15 minutes just before the Christmas shopping rush. The result was such overcrowding that on Saturday, December 20th, MTA was forced to add a tripper to each line and adjust the schedules for that day to provide 12 minutes service.
Ted Swanson, an operator on the R line (and who is also a Division member), reports that as a result of the reduced service his turn-in for Saturday, December 13th, was $125. This is high for the R line, which is considered by many operators as the lightest line at Division 20. But by the next Saturday, December 20th, his turn in was $113 at only halfway point in his working day! This in spite of the temporary increased service.
The Downtown Business Men’s Association reported that Christmas shopping in the 1958 season set an all-time high. This, of course, accounts for an increase in riding perhaps not contemplated by the schedule department of MTA.
“Welcome Aboard” slogans, originally an MCL product in the form of a decal applied to the sides of buses just behind the front door, have been appearing on yellow streetcars. It’s first appearance on a trolley was ex-LATL’s 3075 when it introduced MTA’s adopted MCL colors of two-tone green in April, 1958. Up until a couple of months ago the slogan appeared only on green streetcars. Now, however, yellow ones sport the latest inducement to get riders. The slogans have not been seen on ex-PE cars.
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Saturday, December 13th, saw the effect of Christmas shoppers on the Long Beach rail line as two-car trains were in used all day. It was noted that the cars were comfortably filled.
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Shop forces at Fairbanks are now on a five day week. Saturday work has been discontinued as a result. All BO equipment at Fairbanks not being worked on has been moved to Morgan Yard.
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Of the three cars disabled last November, one, the 1500 is back in service. 1520 is undergoing repair work, as is the 1808.
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9223 was at Fairbanks for work on its trucks; now back in service...1520, which suffered the brunt of the wire break at Del Amo, received new paint on the damaged end ...Following cars now at Morgan Yard, apparently will be next to go to the scrapper: 5115, 5121, 5122, 1806, 1807, 1511, and 1533 ...Reliable word has it that MTA cannot afford to scrap any more cars beyond what are now on the lists: cars available are now down to minimum requirements. Evidence of this is found in the repair of the last three cars to go BO.
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Track crews replaced the curve at 7th and Hoover with relay girder rail in the last month. Vernon Yard is now preparing for the shoo-fly for the R line near the junction of the present Santa Ana Freeway for a new belt freeway.
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MTA will keep the overhead from the San Pedro line for use on the standard gauge division as necessary, unofficial sources state. So far, as of 27 December, wire had been removed only from Dominguez Jct. to a point 300 yards south. From that point to San Pedro the wire was still intact. Of importance is the fact that the Dominguez siding was left in with a wire connection from it to the Long Beach line at the junction. This indicates use of the siding for setting out BO cars or possibly resumption of Dominguez-Compton locals which used to tie-up at this siding overnight.
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Effective December 29th, MTA added two more stops each way to the two express trips on the Long Beach line. Both stops are just north of Willow where the line enters right-of-way. They are Spring St. and Wardlow Road.
LONG BEACH LINE SPORTS NEW DASH SIGNS:
The only new paint seen on MTA interurban trains these days are the new dash signs which came out with the San Pedro conversion last month. A total of seven different signs are used. No Limiteds are scheduled, as well as no Dominguez-Compton Locals; but signs for these still hang on the racks at Main St. Station.
THE “STANDARD GAUGE” SCENE:
Some substations and portable subs now have MTA heralds. 00187 at Willow does.
Both line cars now back in service after 9224 had work done on her trucks.
1808 broke an equalizing bar between 14th and 15th Sts. on 26 November and was in Hooper Yard ( top of four tracks) over Thanksgiving. 1803 towed it to Fairbanks on 29 November.
1800, in storage for some time at Watts, made a trip to Fairbanks just after 1808 went out of service and was seen returning to Watts on the 28th of November. Now back in service.
1520 has a charred train door and burn spots on the bulkhead at one end as the results of a wire break at Del Amo on 29 November. 1500, second car of the train, also suffered burns on one window and on the roof.
All former 300s still owned by MTA are in service except 307 and 310. These two have been renumbered. Only cars not yet renumbered are 5115, 5121, and 5122. (Above items as of 30 November 1958)
(From locomotive rating page, effective 20 December 1951): The practice of plugging out dynamotors for such purposes as providing light only, and cutting out one dynamotors for such purchases as providing light only, and cutting out one dynamotor on operating end while switching causes the over-working on one dynamotor and heating up two motors, interfering with forced ventilation. Also, permitting air to be set up with controller in applied position for the purpose of heating cab causes damage to resistance and results in flat spots on commutators. Trainmen shall refrain from such practices.
(Excerpt of Special Rule 27, regarding operation of 6th and Main Sts. Terminal, effective 16 March 1953: ...Doors, traps over steps, and gates on all cars in service must be closed while operating on viaduct between 6th & Main Sts. Station and San Pedro St.
HEADSIGN READINGS FOR PACIFIC ELECTRIC CARS (as indicated):
5127 5000 Class (PCC cars)
Alhambra - San Gabriel - Temple City ECHO PARK AVE.
ALHAMBRA - SAN GABRIEL EDENDALE - ATWATER
LOS ANGELES GLENDALE - BURBANK
OUT OF SERVICE GLENDALE East Broadway
PASADENA via Oak Knoll GLENDALE North Glendale
PASADENA via Short Line HILL ST. VENICE BLVD.
SIERRA VISTA Hill St. - Venice Blvd. San Vicente
S P E C I A L Blvd. To Olympic Blvd.
6TH & MAIN STS. HOLLYWOOD BLVD.
W A T T S HOLLYWOOD BLVD.Beverly Hills
Hollywood Blvd. via Santa Monica Blvd.
ECHO PARK AVE. OUT OF SERVICE
EDENDALE - ATWATER SAN FERNANDO Valley
GLENDALE - BURBANK SANTA MONIA BLVD.
GLENDALE & Burchett St. SANTA MONICA BLVD. Highland Ave.
HOLLYWOOD BLVD.Beverly Hills S P E C I A L
HOLLYWOOD BOWL via SUBWAY TERMINAL
Santa Monica Blvd. 12th & HILL ST.
LOS ANGELES VENICE Short Line
OUT OF SERVICE
GLENDALE North Glendale
950 Class -Western District
HILL ST. VENICE BLVD. CATALINA SPECIAL
Hill St. - Venice Blvd. San HOLLYWOOD BLVD.
Vicente Blvd. to Olympic Blvd. LOS ANGELES
HOLLYWOOD BLVD. LOS ANGELES via Beverly Hills
SAN FERNANDO Valley LOS ANGELES via Short Line
SANTA MONICA BLVD. OUT OF SERVICE
SANTA MONICA BLVD. Highland Ave SANTA MONICA BLVD.
S P E C I A L SANTA MONICA via Beverly Hills
SUBWAY TERMINAL SPECIAL
12th HILL ST. VENICE Sort Line
VENICE Short Line GLENDALE - BURBANK
PASADENA via Short Line GLENDALE North Glendale
SIERRA VISTA GLENDALE East Broadway
EDENDALE - ATWATER
WEST LOS ANGELES
5113 (#2 end)
ECHO PARK AVE.
5113 (#1 end), 5119, 5121, 5124, 5167
EDENDALE - ATWATER EDENDALE - ATWATER
GLENDALE - BURBANK GLENDALE - BURBANK
GLENDALE East Broadway GLENDALE & Burchett St.
GLENDALE North Glendale HOLLYWOOD BLVD.
HILL ST. - VENICE BLVD. HOLLYWOOD BLVD. Beverly Hills
Hill St. - VENICE BLVD. Hollywood Bowl via Santa Monica Blvd.
Hill St. - Venice Blvd. San Vicente LOS ANGELES
Blvd. to Olympic Blvd. OUT OF SERVICE
HOLLYWOOD BLVD. PASADENA via Short Line
HOLLYWOOD BLVD. Beverly Hills SAN FERNANDO VALLEY
Hollywood Blvd. via Santa Monica Blvd. SANTA MONICA BLVD.
LOS ANGELES SANTA MONICA BLVD. Highland Ave
OUT OF SERVICE SIERRA VISTA
SAN FERNANDO Valley S P E C I A L
SANTA MONICA BLVD. SUBWAY TERMINAL
SANTA MONICA BLVD. Highland Ave. W A T T S
S P E C I A L
W A T T S
M O N R O V I A
MONROVIA - GLENDORA
ACCORDING TO THIS ...By Norman Johnson
...the San Pedro bus service
It is sometimes interesting--and enlightening--to compare the policies of a transit property to that of its predecessor. For instance, compare MTA and old Metropolitan Coach Lines; specifically the San Pedro bus routes ( as proposed and as now in use.)
When Jesse Haugh first announced his forthcoming (he hoped) replacement bus service to San Pedro, the intended route he outlined was nothing less than circuitous, if not confusing. It was an attempt to cover as closely as possible the exact route of the rail line south of Watts. (Where local work began), but without the advantage of the rail route’s straight line. The bus line would have used no fewer than 25 separate streets.
On the other hand, when MTA actually made the change, their routing was more practical--and economical, as we shall see. MTA made no direct substitution for the entire length of the former rail line. Two bus lines were created, one following the rail route from San Pedro to Compton, the other offering a more direct service all the way into Los Angeles. The “Compton Shuttle” makes direct connections to and from Los Angeles trains of the Long Beach line. Service is frequent and operates well into the night. The direct route is the hourly freeway express. It makes no attempt to parallel the former rail line, but is instead a “premium” service for through passengers. The service operates only about 11 hours a day, and does not operate on Sundays or holidays.
The economic advantage of MTA’s bus service for San Pedro over that of Jesse Haugh’s is readily apparent. Perhaps if Haugh had not been so determined to discredit and weaken rail operations, he too might have used MTA’s routings.
To begin with, it has been obvious for some time that, on a per seat basis, the patrons of both the San Pedro and Long Beach rail lines could have been carried entirely in the latter’s trains. Apparently it was not desirable to operate San Pedro trains as a shuttle to either Compton or Dominguez Junction. But with the conversion of the San Pedro Line, the opportunity presented itself for maximum use of the Long Beach trains--at least over part of the route.
Now Jesse Haugh must have realized this. Yet he chose to run his proposed San Pedro bus as closely as possible to the former rail route. This needless duplication of mileage leads to only one conclusion: that Haugh meant to weaken the Long Beach rail line by draining off the “cream” of the patronage. Fortunately he was not permitted to carry out his plan.
The men of MTA, we believe, are not prejudiced against rail lines. Also, to put it in the worlds of one official, “we work in a fish bowl.” This means, that as a public agency, everything they do must be practical and efficient, with the aim of obtaining economical operation; hence their adoption of the obviously superior plan for “modernization” of the San Pedro Line.
It remains to be seen just how successful the “Freeway Flyer” will be. By schedule, the bus-train service is some 13 minutes slower. But arrival times of the “Flyer” are approximate. For people going to work and due at the job by a specific time, this may not be good enough. Also, the daily delays on the freeway eat up this 13 minute savings. So, in the last analysis, the bus-train operation equals the “flyer’s” time, and is more reliable.
Saturday night, November 29, started out like any other night on the Long Beach line, but wound up being one of the most eventful in some time.
It all started when an LA-bound train (car 1520 and deadhead 1500) arrived at the Del Amo crossing at 7:40pm. After making the safety stop, the train proceeded to cross the street and was almost across when the trolley wire in front of it broke, the trains running into same. The result was that the front of the 1520 was charred and wire came down on the north-bound track for 150 feet. About this time another two-car train appeared on the scene from the north. This train was made up of two 1800s, 1803 and 1808, enroute to Fairbanks. The two 1800s were unable to get past because of the downed wire.
By 8:10pm MTA supervisors and local police were in mass numbers on the scene--and two Long Beach trains (1503 and 1541) had ground to a halt behind the 1800s. It was decided that it would be best to clear the south-bound track and single-track all trains from Cota to Dominguez. The tower truck crew agreed and went off to tackle the wire. Apparently they were too eager, as someone had shorted things out in grand style. The ensuing 30 seconds were spent watching one of the best non-Fourth of July fireworks display in southern California. After the wire stopped glowing, it was found that another 700 feet of overhead was down and that apparently the wire still up was not shorted out after all. Moments later an LA car (1531) pulled up down the track, followed in a short time by a car that was being deadheaded to LA.
Confusion was quite evident; eight cars were stranded, wire was everywhere, and the buses that had been ordered had not yet arrived. Finally, by 9:10, the south-bound track was cleared and the four cars cautiously went on their way. After arrangements were made with the Dominguez tower, the two cars on the north-bound track backed to Cota. The deadhead car went back to Long Beach and the regular train single-tracked to the Dominguez crossover. Work continued during the night and by 9:00 Sunday morning new wire was up and the two charred cars had been removed. The line car was on the scene, its crew putting the finishing touches on the catenary. In a few hours it too was gone--peace prevailed once again on the Long Beach line.
ODDS AND ENDS:
Twin Cities Rapid Transit has rejected a proposal by National City Lines to control and operate the transit system. . . . CTS West Side Extension causes a jump in ridership of 32,000 during first week. Over 340,000 persons rode the “rapid” during the week . . . .CTA estimates 1959 passengers as follows: system: 531,890,000 (decrease of 1,823,000) including surface lines 422,690 (decrease of 4,955,000) and rapid transit 109,200,000 ( INCREASE of 3,132,000). The increase and decreases are from previous year
City of Montreal agrees to back MTC bonds to buy 175 buses. These will replace streetcars on four lines. During the City Council meeting a member stated that local main arteries would remain congested until the day a subway is built. He suggested that a referendum be put on the next ballot. PST Red Arrow discontinued its 18 cent token for a 20 cent straight fare on 15 December
(from Passenger Transport--Jim Walker)
NYCTA has ordered 110 new subway cars from ACF at 11 million dollars. Cars will come in pairs, permanently coupled. Motorman’s controls will be at each end of the pair only, realizing a saving of $3700 a car. However, the cars will not be articulated, each car having its own trucks. They are for the IRT Division..
ACF has supplied NYCTA with over 4,000 rapid transit cars in the last 50 years; with 950 units built since World War II.
Baltimore Transit will convert three trackless trolley lines in 1959, date as yet unannounced. Nothing was said regarding the two remaining streetcar routes.
THE NATION’S CAPITAL: DCT’s “Silver Sightseer” is now running on weekends again, even though there is still only one hostess for the car. She now works a six day week with Thursdays off. It seems that Chalk came to town one weekend and looked for the super PCC, but couldn’t find it. When he found out it wasn’t running on weekends, he ordered the car to run Saturdays and Sundays no matter what.
The 50 cars sold to Yugoslavia are now at various barns awaiting reconditioning prior to shipment overseas.
Car 1053, one of the pre-PCC cars (10 Brill, 10 St. Louis built) has been moved to Southern with a new trolley pole for use exclusively on fantrips. All 20 cars have been in storage for many years. 1053 is St. Louis built.
In the list of cars, painted in DCT colors (Dec TP), car 1254 is in error. Cars 1215, 1220 and 1289 are the latest to appear in DCT colors. These and 1297 have also been painted inside as well.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Department:
A letter from John Stern, Treasurer of the Branford Electric Railway Assoc., Inc.,
was received; in which the Association wishes to clarify certain views expressed about their museum in the Canadian Traction article appearing last November. Timepoints takes a position of impartiality. If misleading statements did appear regarding the BERA, then we feel that the group is entitled to the privilege of disputing those statements.
I am writing to correct a most unfortunate impression that correspondents Kotulak and Lavelle made in the report on their Canadian trip.
The reporters are apparently not very observant. Exterior paint flaking off does not necessarily denote rot and structural weakness beneath. Of 31 passenger cars on the property, ten (including eight wood) are in fairly good shape. Major restoration is in progress on ten others (six of them wood), and the remainder are not being actively worked on at present. (Of these latter, perhaps only six could be considered ‘in terrible shape.’) Of the 10 non-passenger cars, the percentages are about the same. 26 cars are protected from weather by barns, and are not deteriorating.
The Washington “center-door” car is in much better shape now than at any time since its arrival at Branford in 1947. It’s weather-tight, and is not ‘rotting away.’ The car is still on its trucks, which suggests ‘shed’ to be an inaccurate description. Nobody from the Washington areas has shown the slightest active interest in the car since its arrival at Branford.
“The reporters express ‘disgust’ at seeing some wood cars ignored in favor of the PCC. They overlook the wholly voluntary nature of a trolley museum, wherein projects are not assigned, but are voluntarily undertaken.
“Their notes and observations on the remainder of their trip are excellent, and it seems a shame that they do a disservice to the museum possibly out of personal pique at not getting a trolley ride.” /s/ John Stern, Treasurer, BERA