TIMEPOINTS VOL 17 NO 7  July, 1959





As a two-car train headed by 1503 left Main Street Station and started down the viaduct its brake and rod broke sending it running free to San Pedro Street.  By the time the train reached the curve it was rolling so fast that its left steps scraped the pavement as it took the curve on two wheels, derailed and crashed into two parked moving vans across the street.  All this happened at 7:15 on the morning of July 14th.

About 30 minutes later the police arrived and blocked off San Pedro Street from Sixth to Seventh.  Soon after, the MTA crew, consisting of a ‘Bertha’ truck and a dump truck plus the Browning crane and supply trucks, arrived on the scene and immediately set to work re-railing 1503, (the second car of the train disappeared after the wreck.  Its number was not learned).  The car was finally winched back on the rails by 11:30.  About this time car #1529 appeared from the south, the first ‘red’ car for three hours.  It stopped just short of the cross-over north of Seventh.  The Bertha then towed 1503 north on the inbound track from where it has been placed back on the rails, through the switch where track from the viaduct joins the rails on San Pedro Street, and up freight only trackage, now de-electrified, to Sixth so that it could clear the cross-over.  The 1529 followed as far as it could go under trolley wire, also clearing the crossover, then coupling on to 1503.  At  11:45 the two cars finally pulled across the cross-over and started for Fairbanks Yard, 1529 pulling 1503 which was hauled as a sled.

Meanwhile, all cars for Long Beach and Watts turned back and loaded at Olympic and Hooper (top of the four tracks).  Passengers from 6th and Main were taken to the cars on buses using Bellflower equipment.  (This presented a very interesting picture as the passengers for one bus completely filled a blimp and seeing a blimp load of people crammed on a 45 passenger bus was quite amusing; Ed.)  The buses carried “34-Special” on the head sign.

The first car into Main Street Station was Long Beach car #1516 followed shortly after by Watts #1803.  A train made up of 1510, 1531, and 1502 wye’d at Hooper after coming out of the storage tracks there and started for Main Street following 1803.

1529 towing 1503 reached Fairbanks by 1:30.  The damage to 1503 consisted of the rear steps on the traffic side being twisted and smashed, resistors and reverser box crushed, and judging from the sound of one of the trucks as it squealed its way down the four tracks, a bent-up rear truck.  Damage was estimated at about $550.  There is a good chance that it will be repaired as the number of spare blimps now on hand is growing quite small.



More 1800s (Watts cars) are being scrubbed inside and out.  Washed since last issue are: 1803, 1807, 1812, and 1814.  The difference is quite noticeable as revealed in the fact that a lot of people think they have a new paint job.

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Another accident on the Watts Line has again seriously decreased the number of cars available for service.  1809 was hit by a trailer-truck at 9th & Ceres on the afternoon of Friday July 7th.  The truck evidently didn’t see the car heading eastbound as it turned onto the street from behind a warehouse.

The damage to the car was almost identical to that done to 5118 (the original 1807 now scrapped) last summer; i.e., smashed-in front corner near the door.  The coupler also suffered some damage as the car had to be wyed at Hooper before it could be towed to Fairbanks.

The Watts Line required eight cars for peak service, running as four two-car trains.  Now that 1809 is out of service there are only nine where before there were ten cars available for service.  With this in mind, there is a good chance that 1809 might see service again.

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The ‘Miss Universe’ pageant brought three-car trains to the Long Beach Line on Sunday, July 19th, the day of the All Nation Parade which was staged on Ocean Blvd.  All cars turned-back at the 14th Street crossover, the people then continuing their ride to Downtown Long Beach on buses.  (Another incident where a blimp load of people were squeezed into a bus, only more amusing since there were three blimps, Ed.)  Three-car trains were observed during the day on most runs.

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The storage tracks on the south side of the transfer table at South Parks Shops have been de-wired along with some stub track on the north side.  The work equipment was temporarily taken out of their stall and placed on the loop at the north-west corner of the shops while the wire was coming down.

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Speaking of narrow-gauge work equipment, the n-g tower car, 9350, made another of its irregular inspection tours again in July.  It was seen leaving Vernon Yard and running to the end of the ‘J’ Line in South Gate.  It spent the night at Vernon Yard and returned to South Park the next day.

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Effective June 26th the doors at the rear of the Main Street Station were left open permanently as the attendant was discharged.  Under the old system the attendant would open the door when the cars were ready to leave while the conductor would stand by the steps of the blimps and help passengers on.  (On the Watts cars the conductor would collect fares and the motorman see after the passengers.)  Under the new system the door is left open all the time with chains across the top of the ramp where the cars come in.  On Long Beach cars the motorman unhooks the chain and calls the train on the public-address microphone on the viaduct while the conductor takes care of the passengers.  On the Watts line the motorman performs the same duties as does the Long Beach motorman.

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SPRAY  GUN  DEPT...New Paint Jobs

Seen this month in new MTA green are 3057, 3103, 3068, and 3093. #3093 has its exterior repainted only.

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A new rule book will be issued to all PE Southern District trainmen as well as those of the MTA on September 1st.  The changes to be made will make PE rules similar to those of SP.  Among the rules to be changed will be prescribed flagging distance and some speed restrictions.


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