Los Angeles Pacific Railroad

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Los Angeles Pacific Railroad was started in 1899 by General M.H. Sherman and E.P. Clark, at is peak it had 180-mile track in the western portions of Los Angeles County, from Pasadena, California to Santa Monica and running down the coast line. The rapid interurban transit of the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad, and the other system, the Big Red Cars, enticed many new residents to LA. It also helped Los Angeles get out the economic slump of 1890. It encouraged new investments in manufacturing, long before there were freeways.[1] E.P. Clark served as President till he resigned, to retire, and R.C. Gillis became President in 1910.

A Los Angeles Pacific Railroad streetcar on Santa Monica Boulevard in Sawtelle at the National Soldier's Home, ~1890

On June 16, 1903, Los Angeles Pacific Railroad join with the Los Angeles-Santa Monica Railroad Company and the Los Angeles, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Railway Company, the new name after this merger was Los Angeles Pacific Railroad of California, but everyone still just called it the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad. Los Angeles-Santa Monica Railroad Company has incorporated on December 2, 1902.[2][3]

Lines[edit]

Los Angeles Pacific Railroad passenger cars operated on the cities of Los Angeles, Hollywood, Sawtelle, Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Ocean Park.

Long Wharf in Santa Monica Bay 1895

Freight would be moved on the same lines but between midnight and morning. Regular freight was oil from the Sherman oil district in Hollywood and lumber from the Long Wharf in Santa Monica. Sherman also bought land west of downtown LA, out to the ocean and down the coast to present-day Redondo.

In 1906 the company owned and operated 405 cars: 144 passenger cars, 6 parlor cars, 17 electric locomotives, 221 freight cars, 5 mail cars and 12 repair service cars.

1920 Sherman Way in downtown Owensmouth, with Los Angeles Pacific Railroad lines

Los Angeles Pacific Railroad Steam locomotive line from Los Angeles to Santa Monica with stops in Hollywood and Colegrove.

Los Angeles Pacific Railroad ran the: Los Angeles Pacific Railroad, Sherman line, Balloon Route Trolley Trip,[4] Port Los Angeles-Santa Monica Canyon Line, Venice Short Line, Redondo Beach via del Rey Line, Western-Franklin-Brush Canyon Line, Westgate Line (Brentwood), Lagoon Line, Santa Monica Air Line, Coldwater Canyon Line, Hollywood Boulevard Line, Santa Monica Boulevard Line, Hill Street Station, Los Angeles-Vineyard Local Service, Sherman Car House and Shops (including the West Hollywood Car House), Hill Street Tunnels, Vineyard-Beverly Hills-Sawtelle-Santa Monica Line, Echo Park Line, Glendale-Burbank Line, Edendale Line-Edendale-Atwater Line, Canoga Park Line, San Fernando Line, Van Nuys Line, Subway Terminal Building and the Subway, Freight Service, Inglewood Line, Owensmouth and Los Angeles-Hollywood-Beverly Hills-Venice Line.

A 1922 view of Cahuenga Pass and the rail lines installed by the Los Angeles Pacific

On December 15, 1899 a line was started down Prospect Avenue from downtown LA to Hollywood. Prospect Avenue would be renamed Hollywood Blvd in 1910. Prospect Avenue was built in 1887.

When Brentwood Park was being built the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad built tracks for the Westgate Line of Red Car service in 1906. This electric trolley ran from San Vicente Boulevard to Ocean Avenue (Santa Monica) and then turned south to the Santa Monica Main Line.

The Santa Monica Short Line (Venice Blvd, San Vicente Blvd, Santa Monica Blvd) and the Venice Short Line (Venice Blvd, Trolley Way, Ocean) took away much of the Southern Pacific and Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway passenger business way.

Los Angeles Pacific Railroad lines inaugurated the line between Los Angeles and Redondo on August 1903.


1900 Streetcar Depot at the Sawtelle Veterans Home, a stop of the Balloon Route, now a U.S. National Register of Historic Places

The current Sherman Way (Los Angeles Metro station) is on the ROW of an old LAP line. Sherman Way is named after General Sherman, due his land development and rail lines he built in the valley.

For the lines out to the San Fernando Valley from Hollywood he built 4 tracks lines over the Cahuenga Pass and up Vineland Avenue through North Hollywood, turning onto Chandler Boulevard, proceeding west to the curve onto Van Nuys Boulevard, through Van Nuys to a curve (Sherman Circle) off of Van Nuys Blvd. turning west onto Sherman Way to Owensmouth, (present day Canoga Park).

Balloon Route[edit]

Los Angeles Pacific - Balloon Route map, 1905
Los Angeles Pacific - Balloon Route car, 1905

Balloon Route Trolley trip was featured route of the The Los Angeles Pacific, opened in September 1901. The line ran from downtown LA through Hollywood, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Redondo Beach and back to L.A. via Culver City. The lines stopped at beach resorts and included free entrance to some en-route stops attractions along the way. Other stops inclulded: Sunset Boulevard, studio of painter Paul de Longpré, bean fields of Morocco in Beverly Hills, [Sawtelle Veterans Home|Old Soldiers' Home in Sawtelle]], Long Wharf, Camera Obscura at Santa Monica, Playa del Rey Pavilion for a fish dinner, Redondo's Moonstone Beach, Venice, and Palms - Culver City The street car depart downtown LA at 9:30 am each day and returned to LA at 5:00 pm for the cost of $1.00. This excursions line was heavily advertised and thus became well known. The first car used was a Parlor car (#400), as the line became popular more cars were added. The owner of Hollywood's first Hotel the Glen-Holly Hotel, operated the line for the LAP. In 1906 the PE took ownership and operation of the line. One add noted: "10 dollar tour for one dollar"[5][6] The Balloon Route Streetcar Depot, West Los Angeles is National Register of Historic Places since in 1972.

Old Mission Trolley[edit]

A Old Mission Trolley streetcar makes a stop at Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, circa 1905.

The other special route was the Old Mission Trolley trip, that ran from Downtown LA to Pasadena then to the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, returning to LA at 5:00pm.This line also included free entrance to some en-route stops attractions along the way (like Pasadena Citrus packing houses), at a cost of $1.00.[7]

Offices and buildings[edit]

Los Angeles Pacific Railroad Headquarter was at 314 W 4th Street, Los Angeles between Hill & Broadway. A fire on November 15, 1908 that destroyed the $100,000 building that was on 8 month old, it was insured.[8]

In 1898 Los Angeles Pacific Railroad built a rail yard at 8687 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA, where the Pacific Design Center now stands. Other yard were: Buena Vista freight depot, the Hill Street Station and at Sherman Yards.

At the junction of the streetcar lines in west of Hollywood, he built car barns and created a city called "Sherman". The town would eventually evolve to become the city of West Hollywood. The large 5.56 acre, rail facility was on Santa Monica Boulevard just West of La Cienega Boulevard. The yard had a steam power house, a car barn and a repair shop building. Pacific Electric moved the yard works to 7th & Central in LA in 1912.[9]

Electrical power was from the company central power station using Westinghouse Parsons steam turbine, at Vineyard, with substations at Bush St. an d Burlington Ave., West Olive, Ivy Park, Playa del Rey, Hermosa, Ocean Park, and Sherman depot.

Sale to Pacific Electric Railway[edit]

On March 19, 1906, an agreement was reached to sell all the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad lines for $6 million to Henry Huntington’s Pacific Electric Railway The Los Angeles Pacific Railroad's steam locomotive lines were all closed by 1911. The Pacific Electric Railway ran all the electric lines.

History[edit]

Arcade Depot in 1890, just completed
Arcade Depot in 1890, just completed
M. H. Sherman

Los Angeles Consolidated Electric Railway[edit]

On October 14, 1890 Sherman founded the Los Angeles Consolidated Electric Railway in Downtown Los Angeles. He received a 50 year franchise from the city and sold stock to help built his street car railroad. On January of 1891 Sherman has made is brother-in-law, Eli P. Clark, VP and manager of his Los Angeles Consolidated Electric Railway, the predecessor of the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad. The company built 47 miles of track radiating out around from Arcade Depot at 6th and Central Streets in downtown Los Angeles. The new company did well, the power for the street cars came from two Thompson-Corliss type oil steam engines each with 700 horsepower, made by Golden State Miners’ Iron Works in San Francisco. Joseph W. Wolfskill sold a lot to the Los Angeles Consolidated Electric Railway for the Arcade Depot.[10] In 1899 the Los Angeles Consolidated Electric Railway became part of the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad, as steam trains and other rail lines were added to the system. Gen. Sherman purchased land that became the town the bears his name: Sherman Oaks, his land deals make him more money than his railroading.[9]

Pasadena and Los Angeles Electric Railway and Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley Railroad train in the Arroyo Seco

Pasadena and Los Angeles Electric Railway[edit]

1894: Los Angeles & Pasadena Railway Company parlor car at the Altadena station. The parlor car was designed exclusively for scenic excursions to Pasadena and Altadena and the Balloon Route.

Pasadena and Los Angeles Electric Railway Co. was incorporated by Sherman and Clark on April 1894. It then purchased all the rail lines running in Pasadena including City Railway Company of Pasadena and the Pasadena Street Railroad. On May 6, 1895 the line from downtown LA (Fourth and Spring streets) to Pasadena opened, running through the Arroyo Seco and South Pasadena, one of the popular stops on the line was the Cawston Ostrich Farm. The Pasadena to Downtown LA line was the first interurban line, "between cities".[11][12] The company also ran the Arroyo Seco Line 1.7 mile, that connected to the Southern Pacific RR at Broadway & Colorado. The Columbia Street Line ran from Raymond Hotel (South Fair Oaks) and the Santa Fe's South Pasadena Station. Clark had served has a director on the board and as the trustee. The line had 44 miles of tracks at it peak. Many of the horse pulled cars were changed to electric. May 1895 a South Pasadena stop was added. In 1898 the company changed to the Los Angeles and Pasadena Electric Railway Company as Sherman & Clark lost control of the company to a Chicago Company.[13] The complete system was sold on March 10, 1902 to the Southern Pacific Company.[14][15]

1900: Pacific Electric Railway Pasadena and Pacific car labelled "Santa Monica,”
1908 Raymond and Fair Oaks Pasadena, with the Street Car Rail on both streets, with Pasadena National Bank building.
  • West Pasadena Railway Company

West Pasadena Railway Company made the West Colorado & Orange Grove Avenue Line in 1891, this started as horse pulled car. West Pasadena Railway Company was sold to the Pasadena and Los Angeles Electric Railway, who electrified the line. The line was 2.5 miles long. It ran on Colorado Blvd, Fair Oaks, Orange Grove, Los Robles Avenue. PE abandoned the line in 1923.

  • Colorado Street Railway

Colorado Street Railway made the East Colorado Street Line in 1886, this started as horse pulled car. Colorado Street Railway was sold the line to the Pasadena and Los Angeles Electric Railway, who electrified the line. The line was 3.3 miles long. It ran on Fair Oaks Avenue to Daisy Avenue in Lamanda Park. PE abandoned the line in 1941. Colorado Street Railway also made the South Loop Line in 1888, it was electrified in 1894 by the P&LA. PE turned the 1.5 mile line into the Tournament Park Line, abandoned in 1923.

George Swartwout's 1888 Highland Railroad was sold to the Pasadena and Los Angeles Electric Railway in 1894, start as a horse line and electrified in 1894, it ran Villa Street to New York Avenue. Major stops: Raymond Hotel (Raymond Station North) to Raymond and Colorado, passing the Pasadena Grand Opera house on the way, 2.3 miles. North Loop Line was also mad by the Highland Railroad, ran Los Robles, Villa, Lake and Colorado, 1.7 miles.[16]

In 1896 Professor Thaddeus S. C. Lowe ceded control of the his Pasadena & Mount Wilson Railroad,[17] Mount Lowe Railway, that took visitors high in the Angeles National Forest to the Pasadena and Los Angeles Electric Railway Co, due to high maintenance cost he was not able keep it going. Pasadena and Los Angeles Electric Railway keep the name the same: Pasadena & Mount Wilson Railroad Co. Along with high operating cost, in 1896 Lowe lost a franchise to build electric railway from Altadena to Pasadena and the franchise went to the Pasadena & Los Angeles Electric Railway. When the line was in control of PE after the March 10, 1902 sale, it was closed in March 1938 after a flood.[18][19][20]

Pasadena Street Railroad Company[edit]

and

City Railway Company of Pasadena[edit]

Built and ran the North Fair Oaks Avenue Line from Colorado Street north to Mariposa it turned East to Lake Avenue. It ran double track for 4.28 miles. This was a horsecar line built in 1886 that ran from Colorado to Chestnut by Pasadena Street Railroad Company a 3'-6" gauge track. City Railway Company of Pasadena built in 1887 the horsecar line from Chestnut to Mountain View Avenue. Both lines are purchased in 1894 by Pasadena and Los Angeles Electric Railway. The line was changed to electric in 1894 by Pasadena and Los Angeles Electric Railway from Colorado Street to Montana Street. Southern Pacific Company ran the line out to Mariposa & Lake in 1903. The line end in 1952.[21]

Pasadena and Pacific Railroad[edit]

View of the first Pasadena and Los Angeles Railway electric car over Arroyo Seco near the Cawston ostrich farm, on March 7, 1895. Pasadena and Los Angeles Railway

The Pasadena and Pacific Railroad Company (P&P) was started in 1895 by Sherman, this company built a line from downtown LA to Santa Monica. In 1898 Pasadena and Pacific Railroad became part of the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad.[22]

Port Ballona and the Redondo and Hermosa Beach Railroad[edit]

  • Port Ballona made by Louis Mesmer and Moye Wicks, today's Marina Del Rey, their plans was also to have this be the site of a major port. A street car tram line was made to the Port by the Redondo & Hermosa Beach Railroad company, that had incorporated on February 21, 1901. This company was part of the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad. The tram line opened December 1902 departed downtown at 4th & Broadway. Sherman purchase 1,000 acres of land around the Ballona lagoon and Port Ballona in 1902 under the name the Beach Land Company. Sherman and Clark renamed the land "Del Rey". Port Ballona was then renamed Playa Del Rey.[23][24] The port was also was serviced by the California Central Railway opened in September 1887, this line later became the Santa Fe Railway, that later became the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad. The rail line ran from the port to Redondo junction

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ metro.net Los Angeles Transit History
  2. ^ Electric Railway Historical Association of Southern California, Los Angeles Pacific Corporate Histories
  3. ^ erha.org, Electric Railway Historical Association of Southern California, Los Angeles Pacific
  4. ^ erha.org balloon Trip
  5. ^ erha.org Balloon Route line
  6. ^ The Great Pacific Electric, by William D. Middleton
  7. ^ Metropolitan, Volume 12, Page 920, Bobit Publishing Company, 1916
  8. ^ lafire.com LAFIRE.COM Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Archive, LAFD PHOTO ALBUM COLLECTION, The Los Angeles Pacific Railroad Depot Fire,4th street between Hill & Broadway, November 15, 1908
  9. ^ a b Masters, Nathan. (01 December 2011). "West Hollywood at 27: How the Town of Sherman Became WeHo". SOCAL FOCUS blog. Accessed 08 November 2012
  10. ^ erha.org Los Angeles Consolidated Electric Railway, started in 1890, California Illustrated, 1892
  11. ^ Pacific Electric Red Cars, By Jim Walker, page 10
  12. ^ erha.org South Pasadena Local Lines
  13. ^ erha.org Pasadena & Los Angeles Electric Railway - Los Angeles & Pasadena Electric Railway
  14. ^ Ohio State Press, Trolleys, Real Estate, and Electric Power, 1898-1903, Ch. 4
  15. ^ Los Angeles Herald, Volume 26, Number 237, 25 May 1897
  16. ^ Mount Lowe Railway, By Michael A. Patris, page 8
  17. ^ erha.org Mount Lowe Line
  18. ^ PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION TO LOCAL NATIONAL FORESTS, by Ron Frescas, Chris Martin, and Christine Steenken, University of Southern California Dr. Steve R. Koletty, Prepared for the Center for La w in the Public Interest, April 15, 2004 (book as typo 1886 should be 1896, Lowe control lost)
  19. ^ Digital Library Consulting, Los Angeles Herald, Volume 25, Number 271, 29 June 1896, Pasadena and Los Angeles Electric Railway and Mount Lowe Railway timetable.
  20. ^ The Land of Sunshine: A Southern California Magazine, Volume 5, 1896
  21. ^ erha.org Pasadena Local Lines
  22. ^ Pacific Electric Red Cars, By Jim Walker, page 9.
  23. ^ erha.org Los Angeles Pacific Corporate Histories
  24. ^ delreync.org, Del Rey Neighborhood Council, Marina Del Rey History