THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TRACTION REVIEW
TRANSIT NEWS (LOCAL)---
Fred S. Dean, MTA executive, told Long Beach officials that the Authority has no intention of abandoning the LA-Long Beach rail line. He further stated that the line is paying for itself. Something else encouraging is the fact that MTA Director, Max Gilliss has taken a trip back east, according to the Long Beach “Independent”, to find new rail equipment for the line.
The Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, who just a few months ago wanted the MTA to give its drivers a 60 cent an hour increase, recently turned down a proposal from the Authority to up the operator’s pay by 22 cents an hour. If the proposal had been accepted by the B.R.T. the drivers would have received $2.49 an hour. On the other hand, the fare would have definitely been raised.
Negotiations are still going on but no settlement is seen at present. The operators were banned by a court order several months ago from walking out on their jobs. The order stated that it is illegal to strike a public agency.
Car #3019 went BO at 7th & Vermont on November 19th. A ‘Bertha’ truck was dispatched and towed the car around the 1st & Vermont loop and then down Vermont and Pico to Division 20. Trouble is unknown.
Division One Carhouse has been completely leveled. Cars of the ‘R’ and ‘S’ lines are now stored on the Wilde St. leg of the wye across the street from Division One. The land on which the carhouse building stood will go to PE as the result of them giving the MTA their land. MTA will, therefore, have all their land together. It is presumed that the new land will be used to expand the trolley bus yard at Division One.
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The dual gauge “diamond” crossing at 7th & Main was removed in mid-October by MTA crews Also some girder rail on 7th Street between Main and Spring was renewed. The crossing was once one of the busiest on the narrow-gauge system. In its heyday one could see cars on the lines H, J, R and S using it on 7th; cars of line ‘B’, ‘F’, ‘G’, ‘O’ and ‘8’ of the narrow gauge plus the standard-gauge Sierra Vista-Watts line of PE on Main Street.
Speaking of track renewal, track work was in progress around and on Veteran’s Day on the viaduct behind Main Street Station. It is not known whether the rail is being replaced or removed.
MORE LOCAL GEMS----
As of November 13th, the tower cars are now at Watts Carbarn. ...All wire in the Watts Carhouse, on the local outer tracks of the four tracks, and Track Four at 6th & Main is still up and usable...Many big ‘Ps’ are getting their front end repainted, (yellow, of course).
The intersection of Santa Fe & Pacific has undergone some notable changes during the latter part of September. A fence has been constructed down the middle of Pacific Ave. paralleling the power poles between Santa Fe Ave. and the start of the streetcar private right of way. The fence is continuous except for a cross-walk east of Santa Fe. It extends into the P R/W for about three feet. A new safety zone has been established on Pacific on the eastbound side of Santa Fe by the eastbound track. In conjunction with this new zone, the old ‘V’ car zone eastbound on the west side of Santa Fe has been discontinued with cars now crossing Santa Fe. Likewise the ‘J’ line zone southbound on Santa Fe is no longer used as cars turn the corner onto Pacific Ave.
The final change was the establishment of a traffic left turn lane westbound on Pacific at Santa Fe parallel to the westbound streetcar zone. The new zone is two car lengths long.
New trolley wire has been installed on the northbound local for about 1000 feet just south of Washington Blvd. during October. The big difference is that it is round wire instead of the conventional grooved wire. This new wire can be identified by the types of clips used. It is possible to use this style of clip on grooved wire but it is not a common practice. Both PE and LATL have, in the past ten years, used grooved wire exclusively on their lines.
POST MORTEM: “WATTS”
Monday morning November 2nd, saw the only operating line car (the other having been taken out of service the night before) removing CAR STOP signs from the four-tracks. Meanwhile, cars were leaving Watts Carhouse for Morgan Yard, Long Beach. According to Jim Walker, the cars left as three 2-car trains as follows: first train 1802-00-07, second train 1805-01-15, third train 1812-14-03. 1803 is considered the last passenger car in Watts Carhouse as it left there at 10:17 AM.
The day line-car was put out of service and taken to Fairbanks where it is now. The day crew was transferred to a tower truck. The night line-car still operates out of Watts.
After a check of the cars at Morgan Yard the following Saturday, it was noted that the first group of cars (1802-00-07), which were sitting on the track closest to Ocean Ave. bridge, have had most, if not all, of their windows broken out. It is rumored by shop men that there may be parts missing from some cars as the result of vandals.
Car 1809, which was wrecked in June and has been sitting on the scrap track at Fairbanks ever since, was also noted in the group at Morgan. On the other hand, car 1812 is not at Fairbanks. It saw its last revenue service in the evening rush on the last Friday before abandonment. These moves would lead one to believe that all the cars now at Morgan will eventually reach National Metals and that 1812 is destined for Perris. However, many of the cars at Morgan may eventually be sold to private persons and/or groups.