Pacific Electric and Los Angeles Streetcars

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The Pacific Electric Railway – once the largest interurban railway in the nation – and the unique streetcars of the Los Angeles Transit Lines exist now only in memory and on film (and now DVD!).

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The Pacific Electric Railway – once the largest interurban railway in the nation – and the unique streetcars of the Los Angeles Transit Lines exist now only in memory and on film (and now DVD!). Two outstanding railroad documentaries from Pentrex have been combined on one DVD to let you relive the final years of these two Los Angeles area transportation legends. Take a look at LA’s “Red Cars” and “Yellow Cars” in these two videos. On one DVD you get:

Pacific Electric – The Twilight Years
After serving Southern California’s transportation needs for over sixty years, by the 1950s the PE’s rail passenger service had been reduced to five lines. View the last of the once-famous Hollywood cars on the Watts Local and the Big Red Cars, often referred to as “blimps,” on the Long Beach, San Pedro, Bellflower, and Catalina Lines. You’ll also see memorable railfan trips, the tower cars on the four-track mainline, and the last of the “Juice Jacks” in action on Santa Monica Boulevard and at Butte Street Yard. Filmed by noted rail photographer Bruce Ward, this is an unforgettable journey to enjoy again and again. (30 minutes)

Los Angeles Streetcars – The Final Years
Los Angeles commuters fondly referred to their narrow-gauge streetcars as “Yellow Cars.” We’ll take you on an end-to-end tour of the W and S lines, the last to use H-Series standard type streetcars. In 1958, the MTA took over and converted the whole system to streamlined PCC-type cars, most of which were painted two-tone green. You’ll see the entire routes of the five remaining lines: R, S, V, P and J. Then you’ll go to the Georgia Street Car House on the last day of operation and the Vernon Yard as retired cars are placed in storage. It’s a remarkable look at a memorable system. (35 minutes)

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2 reviews for Pacific Electric and Los Angeles Streetcars

  1. rickyfreni

    In “Pacific Electric, The Twilight Years” we begin our PE journey with a pair of the big red cars passing by the railroad crossing, then the diamond and the filmmaker. Next a look at the entire map is shown. Afterwards a look at one of the main terminals are shown followed by their ownership logos. In a real highlight, December of 1956 sees car 498 preparing to leave the 6th and Main Street station once again. Thankfully this car is preserved at the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris along with some of the big red cars.

    In “Los Angeles Streetcars”, the program begins with a meet of the yellow and green cars in downtown LA. A map is shown. We see more highlights from 1956. All of the yellow cars are shown in the Georgia Street house. Looking over the Southern Pacific Taylor Freight Yard, one of the yellow cars, crosses over the yard, as well as the LA river. Not far from the SP yard is LAUPT. Near Florence avenue you can barely see the Goodyear tire plant in the background near Florence avenue. This is the end of the S line where a loop is located. Car 3039 heads back Downtown and a busy meet is shown. As always Downtown LA is busy. On east 1st street, City Hall is in the background. Car 3127 is on the last regular day of service followed by a look at downtown LA. Afterwards a look at the closing ceremonies are shown as well as the other details on the R and V lines.

    These 2 videos are a great look at the final years of what vintage Southern California railroading is all about.

  2. John

    This a great video that shows some footage that isn’t often seen of Pacific Electric and LA Transit Lines. In addition to the trolleys you will also see plenty of vintage automobiles and structures in the Los Angeles area.

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