Waterfront Red Car
|Port of LA Waterfront Red Car|
|Pacific Electric Replica 501 in San Pedro|
|Locale||San Pedro, Los Angeles|
|Terminus||Between World Cruise Center
and 22nd Street at Miner Street
|Built by||Pacific Electric Railway|
|Original gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Original electrification||overhead line|
|Owned by||Port of Los Angeles|
|Operated by||Port of Los Angeles|
|Length||1.5 mi (2.4 km)|
|Preserved gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Preserved electrification||overhead line|
|July 19, 2003||Opened|
|September 27, 2015||Closed|
|Waterfront Red Car Line|
The Port of Los Angeles Waterfront Red Car Line was a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) heritage streetcar line for public transit along the waterfront in San Pedro, at the Port of Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California. It opened for service in July 2003, with a construction cost of $10 million. Service ended on September 27, 2015.
The line used vintage and replica Pacific Electric Red Cars. The route ran south over a former Pacific Electric Railway right-of-way from the World Cruise Center cruise ship terminal under the Vincent Thomas Bridge to the intersection of 22nd Street and Miner Street, with intermediate stops at Downtown San Pedro, the Maritime Museum, and the Ports O' Call Village.  The service operated three days a week (Friday-Sunday) with occasional service on other weekdays depending on passenger ship landings.
The Pacific Electric Railway Red Car system operated for over 60 years (closed 1961), with more than 1,000 miles of tramway routes throughout Greater Los Angeles and the surrounding cities and counties.
Before the line closed, the Waterfront Red Cars comprised three tram cars in the style of the originals. Two of the three Red Cars—the replica cars, numbers 500 and 501 — were built from scratch by employees of the port of Los Angeles; the interiors are cooled using the same clerestory-style windows as the original 500-class Red Cars (“The Fives”). The third car, No. #1058, was a vintage Pacific Electric 950-class car, having been assembled from two wrecked 950-class cars by Richard J. Fellows, restored for parades, movies, and the like, and then cleverly converted to be steered with the original throttle as a tiller and braked by the original brake handle; the original dead man pedal operated the gasoline engine throttle, which powered the rubber tires. The Port of Los Angeles bought the car and converted it back for rail operation as a charter service.
Future extensions to Cabrillo Beach, Harbor Park, the new cruise ship terminal at Berth 46, Pacific Avenue, and Warehouse 1 were initially under consideration. In April 2010, a new feasibility report was released, with the first priority to switch much of the existing line to street-running tramway track on Sampson Way.
In 2015 it was announced the Waterfront Red Car Line would be closed for 18 months, with service ceasing in late September 2015, to make way for the realignment of Sampson Way leading into Ports O’ Call Village. Because the street realignment cuts through the southern part of the line, it would require a new track and modified, street-level cars running parallel to the new Sampson Way, estimated to cost $40 million. Port officials eventually concluded that such reconstruction would be cost prohibitive. Waterfront Red Car Line service ended permanently on September 27, 2015. There are currently no plans to restore service.
- List of heritage railroads in California
- Heritage streetcar systems
- Port of Los Angeles
- Public transportation in Los Angeles County, California
- Port of Los Angeles.org: Waterfront Red Car Line website. Accessed 19 August 2015.
- SanPedro.com: POLA Waterfront Red Car Line - with map
- RailwayPreservation.com: Port of LA Waterfront Red Car Line . accessed 19 August 2015.
- "Port of LA Waterfront Red Car Line". U.S. Streetcar Systems Website (RPR Consulting, Inc.). 2012. Retrieved 2013-08-18.
- "Red Car Facts and Figures" (PDF). Port of Los Angeles. Retrieved 2013-08-18.
- Littlejohn, Donna (March 19, 2015). "Has San Pedro’s waterfront Red Car reached the end of the line?". Daily Breeze. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
- Littlejohn, Donna (September 25, 2015). "San Pedro’s Red Car unlikely to be spared by last-minute call for reprieve". Daily Breeze. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
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Port of Los Angeles Waterfront Red Car Line.