By Charles H. Bycroft


The following account of the status of Pacific Electric’s PCC cars is the result of a personal examination conducted in June of 1958.  Since June of 1955 when the Glendale-Burbank rail line was abandoned, those cars have stood silently in the dank and virtually unused subway tunnel.  Today, the only activity in the tunnel and at the former five track terminal under Hill Street Station is made by the State of California, which uses the underground space to store impounded autos.  (In a city which is strangling from lack of adequate mass rapid transportation, one ponders sardonically at the ironic use of this mass transit facility--a crypt for space-consuming vehicles which pollute our air and congest our streets.--Ed.)


In June 1958 the PCCs were lined up in the following order, reading inbound from the mouth of the tunnel: 5006, 5004, 5023, 5003, 5028, 5022, 5002, 5013, 5009, 5027, 5025, 5020, 5010, 5008, 5000, 5016, 5012, 5001, 5007, 5014, 5017, 5005, 5021, 5011, 5024, 5018, 5015, 5029, 5019, and 5026.


The general material condition of the cars leaves much to be desired.  However, as the individual pictures presented below illustrate, some of these cars have fared relatively well.  The situation is little changed from June of 1958 to now, as the fences erected at the tunnel mouth are doing a pretty good job.


5006 - #2 end North.  Both windshields out, all windows broken, both headsigns  ripped, both sidesigns gone, interior poor.

5004 - #2 end N. #2 windshield out, all windows broken, #2 headsign ripped, both sidesigns gone, interior poor.

5023 - #1 end N. #1 headsign out, windows broken,  partial lime deposits left side due to water seepage, interior fair.

5003 - #2 end N. #1 headsign out, windows broken, interior good

5028 - #2 end N.  Both sidesigns gone, windows broken, interior good.

5022 - #1 end N.  Windows broken, interior good.

5002 - #1 end N.  Left side windows broken, interior good.

5013 - #1 end N.  Left side windows broken, right sidesign out, partial lime deposits on right side, interior good.

5009 - #1 end N.  Left side windows broken, interior good, has red plastic upholstery instead of  usual “zebra-stripe” cloth.

5027 - #1 end N.  Right side windows broken, left sideside out, partial lime deposits on right side, interior good.

5025 - #1 end N.  Left side windows broken, lime deposits on both sides--heavy on right, interior good.

5020 - #2 end N.  Right side windows broken, heavy lime deposits on left side, interior good.

5010 - #1 end N.  Right side partially limed, #1 end heavily limed-- has seeped into interior and covered #1 dash, interior is in good shape otherwise.

5008 - #2 end N.  Right side partially limed, #1 end heavily limed, interior good.

5000 - #2 end N. #2 end and left side heavily limed, good interior, has blue plastic upholstery.

5016 - #2 end N.  Left side heavily limed, right side partially limed, left rub rail torn off, good interior condition.

5012 - #2 end N.  Left side partially limed, interior good.

5001 - #1 end N.  One of the best cars condition-wise.

5007 - #1 end N.  Very good condition.

5014 - #1 end N.  Very good condition.

5017 - #2 end N.  #1 end limed, good interior.

5005 - #1 end N.  Limed on both sides, good interior.

5021 - #2 end N. #1 end N. Left side limed, left sidesign out, interior good.

5011 - #1 end N. Very good condition.

5024 - #2 end N.  Right side partially limed, interior good. 

5018 - #1 end N. #1 end limed, good interior.

5015 - #1 end N.  Left side partially limed, left sidesign out, good interior.

5029 - #2 end N. Windows broken, poor interior.

5019 - #2 end N. #1 headsign gone, windows broken, interior fair.

5026 - #1 end N.  Left side partially limed, interior good.


Exploring the Pacific Northwest:


S M A L L  T O W N  T R A C T I O N  I N  O R E G O N 

By John W. Dodge


THE ELECTRIC LINES that operated in and around Portland and Willamette Valley are well known to “juice” fans but many may not be aware that during the heyday of the trolley, electric cars operated in three remote sections of the state.


In the northeast corner, interurban cars of the Walla Walla Valley Railway ran from Walla Walla through Freewater, Washington and down the main street of the adjacent town of Milton, Oregon.  But that was really a Washington system.  There is brief mention of it and some pictures in C.E.R.A. Bulletin 95 “Electric Railroads of Washington.”


At the south edge of the state, car number 1 of the Southern Oregon Traction Company (owned by California-Oregon Power Company) made hourly trips from Medford to Jacksonville for a decade starting in 1914.  Starting in a new residential section at the east end of the town, the track ran down the main street, past the Butte Falls Depot, across the S.P. tracks, and on to the west end where a connection was made with the rails of the former Rogue River Valley Railroad, which was electrified from that point to Jacksonville seven miles from Medford.  This road had been built some years before and was operated with steam and various early day gas cars.  Number One was built in 1914 by St. Louis.  It had a a 21 foot body, arch roof, side seats, long drop platforms, and a single truck.  It was arranged for one or two man operation with an elaborate set of gates and rails which seemed rather uncalled for in view of the light patronage.  Another car, number 220, a typical small double-truck city car of that period, without motors or control equipment, was in the yard at Jacksonville.  It could have come from almost any Eastern or mid-Western property and may have operated briefly prior to delivery of Number One and may have supplied its motors and controllers. There was also a Forney 0-4-4 locomotive  from the Manhattan Elevated for freight service.  Local operation started in Medford on March 20, 1914 and to Jacksonville on January 1, 1916 and continued until 1925.  Number One was a sorry sight toward the end.  It had never been repainted and one end was badly stove in from a collision.  It was repaired with 2 X 4's nailed outside the front dash and not even painted.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Astoria in the northwest corner boasted a little narrow gauge system that was typical of the many small streetcar projects at the turn of the century.  It extended the length of the town on the main street, single track with turnouts. A small barn was located a short distance east of the center of town.  Original equipment, like most such outfits, consisted of single-truck open and closed cars.  The first cars with side seats were later supplemented with semi-convertible cars with cross seats.  After the Pacific Power and Light Company acquired the line numerous improvements were made.  The open cars were rebuilt as closed, although with side seats to provide larger capacity.

An experimental car with a 21 foot body, drop platforms, arch roof, cross seats, and radial truck, equipped for one man operation, was obtained from Brill in 1913.  A Birney was acquired in 1918.  The older cars were operated by one man but without benefit of “safety car” devices.  Like many streetcar systems in the Northwest, wood, the principal fuel, was hauled from the railroad yard to various fuel dealers along the line.  For this purpose the company had built a single-truck steeple cab locomotive which hauled unnumbered single-truck flat cars.  On December 9, 1922, this property, together with most of Astoria, was consumed in a holocaust that ravaged that community.  The electric line was never rebuilt.


The following was the equipment used in the final years (all single-truck):

1, 5 Last of the original cars Deck roof, side seat

6 - 8  Deck roof, cross seat, semi-convertible

12 - 13  Deck roof, side seat, rebuilt open cars.

14 Arch roof, cross seat, radial truck  Brill 1913

15 Birney Brill 1918

20 Locomotive: wood, steeple cab



Toronto Transit Can Meet Its Share of

Costs of New Subway First in Five Years


The Toronto Transit Commission will be able to meet its share of the cost of building Metropolitan Toronto’s new $200 million east-west Bloor-University subway line for the first five years, and after that, a complete review of the TTC Metro ten year financing arrangement can be expected, reported Charles Walton, TTC Chairman.

The transit commission chairman’s statement was based on a ten-year financial forecast which will be presented soon to Metro’s executive committee.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of Canada denied an appeal by three Metro Lakeshore municipalities, which have protested the subway financing plan.  The highest court’s rejection of the suburbs’ appeal clears away the final major  obstacle to starting the ten-mile rapid transit line.

The three suburbs[ New Toronto, Mimico, and Long Branch] have filed their appeal with the Supreme Court early in January, after the Ontario Municipal Board’s order binding future Metro councils to apply the two-mill surtax on real estate in a pay-as-you-go plan building the new subway-------.

The Ontario Appeal Court subsequently upheld the order and denied an appeal to the protesting municipalities.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision TTC Chairman Walton and W.E.P. Duncan, general manager of the transit commission, said that actual work on the University Ave section of the new subway line could start this September and that by next winter, several hundred men could be at work on it.

Excavation cannot start before September, since it will take that long for the TTC to complete construction plans and let initial contracts, the transit officials said.

In the meantime, these other steps must be taken: TTC and Metro must sign contracts agreeing to construction of the subway; Metro must then pass by-laws authorizing the expropriation of property along the subway right-of-way: then, further by-laws must be passed providing the necessary funds.

With these planning phases completed and contracts let, the transit officials added, then excavation work could begin on the University Ave section, from Union Station to Bloor Street.

The TTC chairman’s ten-year transit financial forecast was asked for by Metro Chairman Fred G. Gardiner.  Mr. Walton’s report will provide the council with information on anticipated annual operating deficits or surpluses, an estimate of the required fare structure and a forecast of the total yearly volume of patronage expected over the next ten years.

Actual cost of the east-west subway, calculated on 1958 material and construction rates, is $200,948,000.  Metro will pay 55 percent of the cost, or $105,277,000, and the transit commission 45 percent, or $98,671,000.

Metro is to pay 85% of its share through the surtax-expected to amount to about nine million dollars a year during the term of subway construction.  At present, the two-mill real estate levy yields about seven million dollars annually.

The cost-sharing formula is based on a tentative 1958 agreement and subject to review by Metro Council.  A key factor in the reviews, it was reported, will be the transit commission’s ten-year financial forecast.

If Metro is satisfied with the 55-45 cost-sharing formula, a final by-laws okaying the financing arrangement will be enacted.  Following adoption of the financing by-laws expected to be approved in March if there are no complications will come enactment of the by-law authorizing land acquisition along the new subway’s route, affecting more than 1,000 properties.

A total of $14,953,000 has been established for land acquisition.  A recovery of $7,350,000 is anticipated from sale of surplus subway lands following construction.




A target date has been set to begin actual planning of a mass rapid transit system for the Los Angeles area.  By the spring of 1960, the Metropolitan Transit Authority will be ready to launch the program full scale.  Several preliminary surveys for the long awaited project already have been conducted.

MTA Chairman Carl Miller set the target date at a press conference when he outlined the authority’s progress on engineering studies, the first of which was completed last January.  Mr. Miller said the authority was releasing the timetable because it is aware that “people are vitally concerned with their transportation future.”  He said that, once the engineering data is gathered, the MTA can go ahead with a “pilot project” with some kind of mass rapid transit, possible monorail.

Mr. Miller said the engineering firm of Coverdale & Colpitts has almost completed three studies of traffic flow and transportation patterns in the Los Angeles area.  More than 700,000 replies were received from surveys taken from:

  1. - Present rail and bus riders.
  2. - Motorists who park in downtown lots.
  3. - Major employers of commuting workers.

When the results are ready, Coverdale & Colpitts will then be able to establish “corridors” which provide the best routes for mainline transit arteries, immediately and in 1970 and 1980.  The engineering firm will then study each “corridor” to determine its potential passenger revenue and the type of service which it could support.  After that, Mr. Miller said, another engineering firm would be called in to estimate construction costs for various types of transit service in each corridor under study.

He also added that the State Division of Highways is vitally interested in the surveys because they may tie in with future freeway routes.

The MTA chairman said he did not think that MTA’s proposed express service will ever wean all motorists away from their private autos: “I don’t think that mass rapid transit is going to take people out of all automobiles, but it will take a substantial portion of them.”

The MTA official went on to say that different types of mass rapid transit service might be used in different corridors depending upon the type of conditions involved.

For instance, he said, subways might be used in the interchange in the congested downtown Los Angeles area, but would be impractical for outlying service.  Mr. Miller said MTA was seriously studying monorail, but emphasized no decision has been made on the equipment.

The rapid transit service might run along a “corridor” with stops every two or three miles for stations where commuters could park their cars and others could arrive by feeder buses, Miller explained.

If the pilot project proves successful and wins public acceptance, MTA would then be able to finance the program through revenue bonds.  This year Coverdale & Colpitts will spend about $350,000 on the surveys which were financed from the authority’s original revenue bond sales.  Another $350,000 for the engineering work has been set aside from MTA’s operating revenue.

---from “Passenger Transport”



The Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen denounced as “unfair and illegal” proposals for holding union representation elections among the 3600 workers at Metropolitan Transit Authority.

After lengthy hearings, Harvard Law Professor Archibald Cox recommended MTA employees be divided into five groups for election purposes to determine which union or unions will represent them.  The AFL-CIO Amalgamated Union Division 1277, an industrial type union, will be on the ballot in four of the five groups, competing against the BRT, the Brotherhood of Railway Clerks, Machinists, and United Transportation Service Employee Union.

But if Amalgamated wins a majority of all votes cast, it will be designated as bargaining agent for all employees, regardless of the craft, even though it might lose one or more of the separate elections.  Don Sheets, BRT chairman, said the proposals by Cox were “unfair,” and his union will immediately file a protest with the State Industrial Relations Director John Henning.

George Bodle, BRT attorney, said Cox’s proposals are “illegal, arbitrary, and capricious because it violates state laws by not providing that craft or class workers have the right of self-determination.”

The BRT wants a “globe election,” which would pit Amalgamated against each of the other unions, and Amalgamated would have to win a majority in each separate election to be named bargaining agent for all MTA workers.



Line car 9223 (ex-00161, 1734) was involved in a disagreement with an automobile during February.  The collision destroyed one of the car’s wooden pilots.  On February 28th, the car was observed at Watts with a NEW wooden pilot, built at South Park Shops.

[Note: The above line car is now the Red Car Museum in Seal Beach, CA.]



After submission of sealed bids, LAMTA awarded contracts for disposal of 32 ‘H3’ and 8 ‘H4’ type streetcars on 18 March.  National Metals was awarded 39 of the cars while railfan Dr. Julian of Fullerton was awarded H3 car 1435.  This car will be moved to Orange Empire Trolley Museum site at Perris, California.  Numbers of the cars involved were 1416 through 1450 less 1425, 1437, and 1447 which were previously scrapped; and H4 types 1240, 1281, 1290, 1385, 1386, 1387, 1412 and 1415.



Fairbanks Yard, the only on-line repair facility for the standard gauge rail lines, has been subjected to a thorough cleaning-up operation which reminded many of the LATL’s similar campaign in 1946-47.  Inventory was taken of all parts and machinery, and that material designated as “excess inventory” was disposed of as scrap.  It has been decided that only light maintenance will be done at Fairbanks, with all heavy repairs to be handled by South Park Shops.

Some blimps, with thoroughly cleaned interiors including seats, have been seen in service; apparently as a result of this cleanup movement.



Blimps are again being stored during the day on the siding at 14th Street along the four-tracks . . . One of the switches on the curve for the old “B” line connection at 12th & San Pedro has been removed recently by track crews.

All trolley buses formerly stored in the Division One carhouse building have been taken to South Park Shops for cleaning.  After having many years accumulation of grime removed, the trolley buses are being put in storage at Division Five.  (Both the Whites and the 2500 class GM’s were transferred to Five prior to sale.)

The Pacific Electric is studying the possibility of abandoning its Azusa-Glendora freight line.

The LAMTA has taken delivery on 20 interurban-type GM buses.  Numbers are 2025 to 2044.




By proclamation, issued at the February Board of Directors meeting, president Kenneth Harrison vacated the ERA charter held by the SC-ERA and gave life to ERHA-SC, the successor organization.

The exact wording of the proclamation follows:

“By the authority vested in me at the January, 1959 Board of Directors meeting of the Southern California Division, Electric Railroaders’ Association, Inc., and pursuant to the provisions as stipulated in the resolution of succession from the Electric Railroaders’ Association, Inc., passed by the Board of Directors at its November, 1958 meeting;  I hereby proclaim that the Southern California Division, Electric Railroaders’ Association, Inc. (SC-ERA), shall hereafter be known as the Electric Railway Historical Association of Southern California (ERHA-SC), with no association with the Electric Railroaders’ Association, Inc., and that the Electric Railway Historical Association of Southern California (ERHA-SC) shall hereafter assume all assets, liabilities, interests, and activities formerly assumed by the Southern California Division Electric Railroaders’ Association, Inc.(SC-ERA) “Proclaimed at 10:35pm, PST, February 16, 1959, by Kenneth Harrison, President.”



WASHINGTON:  Four new two-rail open-top electric cars will replace the present two car monorail system that has been shuttling Senate members from the Capitol to the Senate Office Buildings.  The monorail subway has been in service for 45 years.



“. . . The (Washington) Planning Commission has been wise, we believe, to develop in its mass transportation survey a double-barreled proposal for both freeways and rapid transit.  Los Angeles’ experience, although an extreme case, shows what total surrender to the automobile can mean: smog, freeways on top of and beside freeways, a terribly extravagant use of land and a general shapelessness of growth in which there is neither urban nor exurban beauty, comfort or utility . .. “


YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO: The Youngstown Transit Co. is purchasing ten diesel buses, and plans to retire all trolley buses in service.  28 units are owned. 


CHICAGO: CTA is installing experimentally, all-rubber, double-shouldered tie plates on the Lake St. Bridge.  The rubber plates will replace conventional steel plates and will be tested to see if impact on the bridge by El trains is reduced.  The rubber plates weigh 2.25 lbs. while the steel plates weigh 13 pounds.


MONTREAL: The Montreal Transportation Commission has ordered 165  50-passenger buses from the Canadian Car Co., Ltd.  The buses will be delivered between April and August.  The buses will be used to convert the last five trolley lines.


MINNEAPOLIS: The cycle seems to keep going at Twin Cities Rapid Transit.  A few years ago Barney Larrick came from NCL to run the TCRT.  Barney was removed by the new management some months ago.

The new general manager of the TCRT is Ralph E. James, who recently resigned as Vice-President and Operating Manager of National City Lines to take the TCRT post.