Sunday, August 26, 2007

Some Love For The Yellow Cars

The Militant actually has some psychic/ paranormal abilities. He has the ability to channel the spirits of Los Angeles history. Recently the spirits of the Yellow Cars of the Los Angeles Railway recently communicated with the Militant.

"Yo Militant!" the spirit of the narrow-gauge trolley cars which ran primarily within Los Angeles city limits until 1963 said, "You give props to the PE, but why you ain't givin' no love to us Yellow Cars?"

The urban-speaking spirits of the trolleys were right. After all, these were the trolleys Angelenos dodged when the Trolley Dodgers of Brooklyn moved into town almost half a century ago (incidentally there were no more trolleys in Brooklyn in the late 1950s). So in order to not only satisfy them but save the Militant from further hauntings, the Militant Angeleno offers some Yellow Car love:

Check It:
  • At 01:33 the trolley crosses on the 1st Street Viaduct -- a route where the (M) Gold Line will run in 2009.
  • At 01:19, the trolley passes in front of the future site of Pollo a la Brasa. If only they knew.
  • At 01:01, with Celeveland Chiropractic College in the background, the trolley crosses over the 101 Freeway on Vermont Ave.
  • At 00:46, the trolley passes what is now the (M) Blue Line Vernon Station.


Julia said...


Do you know if these streetcars were simply replaced by bus lines that mimicked their routes or just taken out because ridership was low and they cost too much?

Cool video, thank you.

Will Campbell... said...

Tremendously awesome video, MA. Near the end was that a car southbound on Vermont crossing the Hollywood Freeway? Dang. Color me wistful.

Militant Angeleno said...

Will: Yes, my fellow velo-bretheren. Now a subway runs some six stories below where that trolley ran, so at least we've made some progress there. But what the Militant would give up to travel back in time and ride those, aside from his identity.

The Militant just realized that the timestamps in the embedded YouTube videos count down, rather than up (on the actual page). Militant will fix.

Militant Angeleno said...

Julia: Our public transit system has changed names and hands over the ages. Most of the streetcar lines were supplanted by bus lines, with variations in their routes. But over the years, due to shifting demographics and ridership patterns, not to mention the Frankensteinian patching-together of routes to serve riders of other canceled lines morphed into the bus system we have today. So some of the routes in use today have direct lineage to the old Los Angeles Transit Lines or the Pacific Electric, but their number designation was likely denoted by the RTD (established 1964).

M. Bouffant said...

To expand on bus #s: When the SCRTD came into being in '64, it kept the route #s of the various private bus companies it replaced, which resulted in a numerical soup. That's why the RTD re-numbered the routes (on a sensible basis) in '83 or '84. Course that's fallen apart a bit with the re-routing & re-numbering that's taken place since the Red & Purple Lines have come into being.

Scott said...

If you'd like to retrace the LA Railway "P" line, take the #31 Metro bus. Very close to the original streetcar route. Terminals are even the same.

Now you know why that bus station is there in East L.A. at Rowan and Dozier. This was a streetcar loop, required so the one-ended cars could turn around and go back the other way. Same thing on the other end at the Pico/Rimpau Transit Center, aka the Crackton Turnaround. This was the most ridden Yellow Car line (also one of the longest) and one of the last to be taken out in 1963.

If you wish to RIDE these cars, you can!! Just head on out to Perris for the Orange Empire Railway Museum. They have a few LARy PCCs, including the first and last ones ordered by LARy.

It's a two hour drive from L.A., but quite worth it. Open daily, but they only run the streetcars on weekends. Costs ten bucks to ride, but free to walk around the grounds. Also PE cars and other stuff. Tons of train stuff to look at. Check their web site.

Militant Angeleno said...

Scott: Yes, the Militant has taken a journey or two to The Far East and has visited the museum in Perris. Nice, but it's not the same.

The museum volunteers, though, do an excellent job at keeping some of those trolleys in prime condition.

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