Riding The Red Cars In Los Angeles
I rode the red cars as a kid! Mon an I would go to downtown LA on the Venice red car. Sometimes we would
The Pacific Electric Railway ( AAR reporting marks PE), also known as the Red Car system, was a mass transit system in Southern California using streetcars , light rail and buses . At its greatest extent, around 1925, the system connected cities in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, and to Riverside County and San Bernardino County in the Inland Empire . The system was divided into three districts:
- Northern District: Pasadena , San Gabriel Valley , San Bernardino .
- Southern District: Long Beach , Newport , San Pedro , Santa Ana .
- Western District: Hollywood , Burbank / Glendale , San Fernando Valley , Santa Monica .
In the 20's as Los Angeles was becoming more and more populated, the "Red Cars" were born. They reached their peak in popularity in the 1920s, then slowly fell victim to Angelinos' love of their automobiles.
By the time the last Red Car was retired from service in 1961, no body cared. Sure wish we had kept them!
Visit the USC history archives site that discusses the "Red Cars". Paul remembers them quite well... from Los Angeles to Long Beach in 40 minutes... better time than we make today!
The scene above is from the early 1920s. You might note the electric lines at the top of the photo that provided power to the Pacific Electric train, or "Red Cars," that ran along the beach from Los Angeles to Redondo Beach. The red car system, built in the early years of the 20th Century, provided an extensive network of electric trolley lines which served the Los Angeles area well, even though the ride was often bumpy. The tracks ran along Hermosa Avenue in Hermosa Beach and were briefly uncovered during a recent sewer construction project. The trolleys became a victim of the freeway system, which was proclaimed the wave of the future at its inception. Today, many of us sadly lament the passing of the old red cars, especially when we see the costs associated with the slowly emerging new electric trains.
I Lived About 1,000 Feet From Where This Photo Was Taken
This is at La Cienaga and Venice about 1940. The store on the left was a tire store that was on the corner for years nad years.
Paul was born and raised about 300 feet from where this picture was taken