San Fernando (Pacific Electric)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
San Fernando
TypeLight rail
SystemPacific Electric Pacific Electric
LocaleSouthern California
TerminiDowntown Los Angeles
San Fernando, California
OwnerSouthern Pacific Railroad
Operator(s)Pacific Electric Pacific Electric
Rolling stockPE 5050 Class PCC Cars (last used)
Line length27.5 miles
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
ElectrificationOverhead lines
Route map

San Fernando
San Fernando Mission
Mission Acres
Pacoima Wash
Midway Park
North Sherman Way
Van Nuys
after 1938
Kester Junction
Tujunga Wash
North Hollywood
Los Nogales
Universal City
Oak Crest
Barham Boulevard
Hollywood Park
Dusky Glen
Cahuenga Pass
Highland Avenue
Virgil Avenue
Subway Terminal

The San Fernando Line was a part of the Pacific Electric Railway system in Los Angeles County, California. It was designed to increase the reach of public transportation from the Downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood into the San Fernando Valley, to support land speculation and development expanding Los Angeles.

Southern San Fernando Valley line[edit]

In 1911–1912, a 20 miles (32 km) interurban electric railway was built from Lankershim (present day North Hollywood), the terminus of an existing line from over the Cahuenga Pass from Hollywood, westward through the entire southern San Fernando Valley property of the Los Angeles Suburban Homes Company syndicate, to promote and support small farm and residential property sales. The syndicate was led by Harry Chandler, with partners General Moses Sherman, Isaac Van Nuys, Hobart Johnstone Whitley, and James Boon Lankershim. The project was initiated in anticipation of the Los Angeles aqueduct opening in 1913, which would bring water for residential and irrigated agricultural development in the syndicate's San Fernando Valley holdings (and citywide). The syndicate is the Los Angeles land speculation group dramatized in the movie Chinatown.

The partner General Moses Sherman directed the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad electric railway line's construction. It ran from Lankershim to the three new towns the syndicate's partner Hobart Johnstone Whitley had planned for the valley, Van Nuys, Marion (present day Reseda), and Owensmouth (present day Canoga Park and West Hills). The tracks ran in the middle of Sherman Way, a broad new 'lavishly landscaped' and paved avenue to the Owensmouth terminus.

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

Northern San Fernando Valley spur[edit]

In addition, the San Fernando Mission Land Company of Charles Maclay and George K. Porter, which owned much of the northern San Fernando Valley (north of Roscoe Boulevard), built an electric railway spur line north from Van Nuys, to connect their undeveloped land and the City of San Fernando with the Pacific Electric system. From San Fernando, the southbound route followed Brand Boulevard, Sepulveda Boulevard, Parthenia Place, and then Van Nuys Boulevard from present day Panorama City to Van Nuys. Remnants of the right of way include center medians on Brand Boulevard, and roundabouts at the Parthenia Place and Sherman Circle/Van Nuys Boulevard turns.

Station Major Connections Date Opened Date Closed City
San Fernando
San Fernando 1902 1938 San Fernando
Van Nuys Owensmouth 1902 1952 Van Nuys
Lankershim Owensmouth 1902 1952 North Hollywood
Highland Avenue San Fernando, Sherman, Venice via Hollywood 1902 1955 Los Angeles
Colegrove San Fernando, Sherman, Venice via Hollywood 1902 1955
Virgil Avenue San Fernando, Sherman, Venice via Hollywood, Western and Franklin Avenue 1902 1955
Sanborn Junction Beverly Hills, San Fernando, Sherman, Venice via Hollywood, Western and Franklin Avenue 1902 1955
Subway Terminal Building Beverly Hills, Echo Park Avenue, Glendale-Burbank, Owensmouth, Redondo Beach via Playa del Rey, Sawtelle, Sherman, Venice Short Line, Venice via Hollywood, Western and Franklin Avenue, Westgate 1925 1961

See also[edit]


First Red Car over to North Hollywood, December 16, 1911