VOL 17 NO 1 JANUARY, 1959
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’
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
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
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
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.
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.
* * * * *
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.
* * * * *
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.
* * * * * *
the three cars disabled last November, one, the 1500 is back in service. 1520 is undergoing repair work, as is the
* * * * * *
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.
* * * * * *
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.
* * * * * *
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.
* * * * * *
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.
LINE SPORTS NEW
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.
substations and portable subs now have MTA heralds. 00187 at Willow does.
line cars now back in service after 9224 had work done on her trucks.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
FOR PACIFIC ELECTRIC
CARS (as indicated):
5000 Class (PCC cars)
- San Gabriel - Temple City ECHO PARK AVE.
- SAN GABRIEL EDENDALE - ATWATER
ANGELES GLENDALE - BURBANK
OF SERVICE GLENDALE East Broadway
via Oak Knoll GLENDALE North Glendale
via Short Line HILL ST. VENICE BLVD.
VISTA Hill St. - Venice Blvd. San Vicente
E C I A L Blvd. To Olympic Blvd.
& MAIN STS. HOLLYWOOD BLVD.
T T S HOLLYWOOD BLVD.Beverly Hills
Blvd. via Santa Monica Blvd.
PARK AVE. OUT OF SERVICE
- ATWATER SAN FERNANDO Valley
- BURBANK SANTA MONIA BLVD.
& Burchett St. SANTA MONICA BLVD. Highland Ave.
BLVD.Beverly Hills S P E C I A L
BOWL via SUBWAY TERMINAL
Monica Blvd. 12th & HILL ST.
ANGELES VENICE Short Line
Class -Western District
ST. VENICE BLVD. CATALINA SPECIAL
St. - Venice Blvd. San HOLLYWOOD BLVD.
Blvd. to Olympic Blvd. LOS ANGELES
BLVD. LOS ANGELES via Beverly Hills
FERNANDO Valley LOS ANGELES via Short Line
MONICA BLVD. OUT OF SERVICE
MONICA BLVD. Highland Ave SANTA MONICA
E C I A L SANTA MONICA via Beverly
HILL ST. VENICE Sort Line
Short Line GLENDALE - BURBANK
via Short Line GLENDALE North Glendale
VISTA GLENDALE East Broadway
(#1 end), 5119, 5121, 5124, 5167
- ATWATER EDENDALE - ATWATER
- BURBANK GLENDALE - BURBANK
East Broadway GLENDALE & Burchett St.
North Glendale HOLLYWOOD BLVD.
ST. - VENICE BLVD. HOLLYWOOD BLVD. Beverly Hills
St. - VENICE BLVD. Hollywood Bowl via
Santa Monica Blvd.
St. - Venice Blvd. San Vicente LOS
Blvd. to Olympic Blvd. OUT OF SERVICE
BLVD. PASADENA via Short Line
BLVD. Beverly Hills SAN FERNANDO VALLEY
Blvd. via Santa Monica Blvd. SANTA MONICA BLVD.
ANGELES SANTA MONICA BLVD. Highland Ave
OF SERVICE SIERRA VISTA
FERNANDO Valley S P E C I A L
MONICA BLVD. SUBWAY TERMINAL
MONICA BLVD. Highland Ave. W A T T S
E C I A L
T T S
N R O V I A
ACCORDING TO THIS ...By Norman Johnson
...the San Pedro bus service
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Passenger Transport--Jim Walker)
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..
has supplied NYCTA with over 4,000 rapid transit cars in the last 50 years;
with 950 units built since World War II.
Transit will convert three trackless trolley lines in 1959, date as yet
unannounced. Nothing was said regarding
the two remaining streetcar routes.
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.
50 cars sold to Yugoslavia are now at various barns awaiting reconditioning
prior to shipment overseas.
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.
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.
THE EDITOR Department:
letter from John Stern, Treasurer of the Branford Electric Railway Assoc.,
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.
am writing to correct a most unfortunate impression that correspondents Kotulak
and Lavelle made in the report on their Canadian trip.
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.
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.
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
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