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The Los Angeles & Redondo Railway Company

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Young's Street Railway Guide, 1904

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    To acquaint the reader with the LA&R, we open the September 11, 1909, issue of that bible of tractioniana, "The Electric Railway Journal," and read:

    "The Los Angeles & Redondo Railway, with headquarters at Redondo, a Pacific Coast seaport, operates three lines between its terminal cities: the line from Redondo to Los Angeles via Inglewood, 19.5 miles; via Moneta, 20 miles; and via Strawberry Park, 21 miles. The Inglewood line is double tracked throughout its entire length, the new Moneta line has three miles of single track, and the Strawberry Park line seven miles of single track. South from Redondo, the terminus, two lines parallel the ocean beach. One serves three large wharves owned by the company and the other reaches Cliffton-by-the-Sea, an attractive beach resort, two miles south of Redondo.

    "Eighty-one trains are scheduled out of Los Angeles daily, and about half of these trains are made up of two cars. The running time of the locals between Los Angeles and Redondo is 52 minutes. The limiteds make this run in 45 minutes. The larger part of the fast trains are sent over the double track Inglewood line. Tickets are sold at the terminal station, and local fares are registered with Ohmer fare registers. The American Railway Association's standard code of rules is used in handling all trains.

    "The company has 34 passenger cars which have been built in its very complete shops at Redondo. An order for ten additional cars has been placed with the company's own shop. These cars are to be delivered by July, 1910, and to be built complete, including trucks, in Redondo. The new cars will have a seating capacity for 38 passengers in the closed section and 10 passengers in the open end, and will be equipped with four Westinghouse 38-B motors and Westinghouse multiple unit control. The Eclipse fenders are used on all of the company's equipments and are said to have been the means of saving several lives. Passenger cars are fitted with Lintern markers.

    "The freight equipment includes three electric locomotives 30 ft. long, weighing about 35 tons, 40 box cars and 65 flat cars, all built at the company's shops. There are also three locomotives used in construction and maintenance work.

    "The tracks are laid largely on a private right-of-way, having few grades, and are built to a gauge of 3 ft. 6 in. The rails are of the 70-lb. standard section, laid on 8-ft. ties. Power is purchased from transmission companies and converted in five substations owned and operated by the railway company. It is distributed to the cars on a standard DC overhead trolley.

    "Three freight trains are run daily each way between Los Angeles and Redondo. In addition to this service, a berry train, made up of six cars in the busy season, is run daily. The Wells-Fargo Express Company operates two combination passenger and express cars run in regular service all year.

    "A heavy merchandise freight business is carried on in connection with the Pacific Coast steamship companies which use the wharves of the Los Angeles and Redondo Railway Company at Redondo. The steamship companies turn over about 2400 tons of merchandise a month for delivery by the electric railway. Two of these wharves which have electric tracks on them are used exclusively for freight handling. The other wharf serves as a landing for passenger vessels and as a recreation pier. The electric railway line serves as a connecting link between the Santa Fe system and the lines of freight boats touching Redondo. All the freight for the Santa Fe system is loaded and unloaded at the electric railway company's wharves and switched with the company's electric locomotives.

    "The character and amount of business over these wharves are shown in the custom house report for the month of May, 1909, which includes the following figures:

    Passengers ........................1555     Merchandise leaving ...............501 tons     Oil leaving .......................12,800 bbl.     Oil received ......................11,000 bbl.

    "The imports also include 5,000,000 ft. of lumber, 2,200,000 shingles, 60,700 ties, 1300 poles, 2345 tons of merchandise.

    "Freight tariffs over the electric railway are filed according to the rules of the Interstate Commerce Commission. The company has a large terminal freight station in Los Angeles at Jefferson St. & Grand Ave. Its Los Angeles passenger station is at Second & Spring Streets."

    This concise description of the LA&R was guilty of one major omission: The trim interurban cars reached downtown Los Angeles over tracks of the Los Angeles Railway.

    By 1906, Huntington was publicizing the LA&R in his new magazine, "Pacific Electric Topics." The following article appeared in the issue for June of that year;

    "Going a-Trolleying to Redondo: This system (the LA&R) has two strings to its electric bow. In other words, it has two main lines between Los Angeles and Redondo, the Inglewood and the Gardena divisions, converging at each end and forming, so to speak, a rectangle with its ends cut slightly on the bias. For the observing, every mile of the brief trip to Redondo possesses interesting features. At Jefferson Street the car leaves the older residential section and passes through what only two years ago was an almost unbroken stretch of level land unadorned by the habitations of man. Now, however, new and up-to-date subdivisions, responsive to the urgent demands of a rapidly increasing population, fill the landscape for miles.

    "Here, too, the tracks diverge, the westerly or Inglewood division passing nearest the ocean. Hyde Park, Centinela, and other thriving little communities are passed, centers of a prosperous country devoted to berry raising, dairying, grain raising and kindred industries.

    "Both divisions are creators of new communities. Lawndale, Hawthorne, Athens, and Olivito are some of the new towns just started, fruits of the real estate man's enterprise, and of the craving of mankind for a home of his own.

    "At Belvidere the Inglewood line converges with the Gardena line, and so let us slip back to Jefferson Street and begin over again the selfsame journey, but this time through Berryland. Soon we come to the impressive stone pillars of Sunnyside, the pioneer of the acre home. On and through a country devoted to dairying, poultry raising and barley growing, past Rosecrans, where the famous Union general settled after the Civil War, to Strawberry Park - appropriate name! -- for we are at last in Berryland where acre after acre is devoted to the strawberry, where it is possible to raise berries the year round. Gardena and Moneta are the great berry centers.

    "At last Redondo, home of the carnation, the marine Mecca of the fishermen, where ships come and go from all the seas; Redondo, throned above the waters and the gem of all its environment.

    "The casual visitor will find much to interest him here. The water front forms an attractive combination of industry and leisure, with its three piers, the shipping, the loading and unloading, the swarming sea gulls, the light craft of the professional fishermen, the dilettante anglers of the wharves, the merry picknickers in the Casino and skating rink, including sea bathing, both in the open ocean and hot salt-water baths, and the hundred and one other things that form such a pleasing and unaccustomed variety to the casual observer.

    "The carnation gardens should not be overlooked. They are within a few minutes walk. Fourteen acres are devoted to the culture of field grown and hothouse carnations, the great fields adding charming bits of color to the landscape. Posy picking is a business here, and some seven thousand blooms are sent daily to Los Angeles and to other markets.

    "For those who tire of flowers and landscape and foliage, and whose inclinations tend to more material things, there is the great hotel perched on the bluff overlooking the sea and surrounded by beautiful grounds.

    "Many improvements are planned for Redondo, which has taken on new life since the railroad and large real estate holdings were acquired by Mr. Huntington.

    "On the return trip, the car passes a small station called Summit, the highest elevation on the line. From this point and for miles on the homeward trip the traveler gets a magnificent view of the Sierra Madre and San Bernardino ranges, dim and blue and hazy in the distance, with Old Baldy clothed in sheer white in the far background, sentinel for all the country round.

    "By all means include a trip to Redondo in your itinerary. Cars start from the corner of Second and Spring Streets every twenty minutes."

    (Evidently "PE Topics" was undaunted by the power of the metropolitan press, which regularly chastised millionaire Huntington. In the June 1906 issue, "PE Topics" carried severe attacks upon the Los Angeles "Record" and the Hearst newspapers, concluding with these immortal words: "Certainly if there is one place in Hades hotter than all the others, it is being reserved for such human vultures as these. How long, O Lord, how long will the depravity of human nature make it possible for such carrion birds to exist?")

    (In 1907, with its name changed to "PE Magazine" and its editorial policy considerably toned down, this magazine had the following to say re Redondo:)

    "During the past two years since Henry E. Hungington bought it, the LA&R has spent about one million dollars in roadbeds and equipment, which have made the railway one of the finest of all the numerous excellent lines that have been constructed around Los Angeles in the last few years. Last year saw the completion of the new Huntington power plant, one of the largest and most complete power plants in the world. It furnishes power for the operation of the electric roads and costs $1,100 daily to operate. During 1907 a new pavilion was also built by Mr. Huntington at an expense of $60,000. The Casino adjoining cost $30,000 and boasts of being the finest one on the coast. During the coming year, a magnificent new bath house will replace the old one recently torn down; this splendid new structure will cost $200,000. Large pipes will run from the new power house, insuring a constant supply of hot water to regulate the temperature of the huge bathing pools."


    The Los Angeles & Redondo Railway had a lowly origin - its grandfather was a steam dummy line from Agricultural (Exposition) Park in Los Angeles to the town of Rosecrans (about halfway to the site of Redondo) and its father was a steam railroad connecting Redondo with Los Angeles (Jefferson St. and Grand Ave.). The three distinct periods create natural division points in relating the interesting and often colorful history of this operation, and we will therefore follow them in this chapter.


    Los Angeles' great boom of 1886-87 was the first great impetus which brought into being many towns which are the county's oldest cities of today. Real estate speculation was the order of the day; fortunes were made and lost, often in spectacularly short time. Among these real estate entrepreneurs were Emil d'Artois and Walter L. Webb of Los Angeles who selected a fertile tract of land about six miles south of Agricultural Park and two miles north of General Rosecrans' ranch as the scene of their endeavors. The tract fronted on Vermont Avenue, then known as merely "The County Road."

    Webb and d'Artois laid out their town of Rosecrans in the summer of 1887. The site was divided into three thousand lots having an average size of about 50 by 140 feet; it was decided to ask $50 for each lot, which was considered out of line in those days. However, the promoters couldn't sell their lots at even that low price unless some form of transportation were provided to permit easy and reasonably comfortable access; this problem was met on July 1, 1887 when d'Artois and Webb obtained a franchise from the Los Angeles County Supervisors to build and operate a steam dummy line from approximately Agricultural Park to their townsite.

    The railroad, small as it was, proved to be an excellent stimulant to the sale of lots. In July, Los Angeles newspapers carried advertisements in which d'Artois & Webb offered 400 lots at a hundred dollars each, payable at ten dollars per month; a hotel was promised, plus the railroad which would be running, so the big type said, in ninety days. A few days later the Los Angeles "Tribune" ad promised that a first class motor road would be built "connecting with the Main Street car line at Agricultural Park, running out Vermont Ave. to Rosecrans, thence to the Ocean Beach, and the rails have been ordered."

    Late in August construction work began over the following route: Starting in the park near what is today University Ave. & Exposition Blvd., the route crossed the northwest corner of the park to 46th St.; it then ran on 46th to Vermont Avenue, swung south on Vermont to the site of Rosecrans, where it jogged west about two blocks on Drexel Ave. almost to Chestnut Street. The line was single track, used very light rail and was 6.161 miles in length, three feet gauge. (Note: 46th is now 39th Street.)

    Webb and d'Artois promised to have their trains running by October 15, 1887 but this proved altogether too optimistic; on October 30th their ad stated, "Our motor road is completed and will soon be running," but it was some two months later before the first tiny train puffed its leisurely way out Vermont Ave. to Rosecrans.

    An interesting account appeared in the Tribune then: "The new steam motor for the Rosecrans rapid transit road was hauled to the terminus at Agricultural Park yesterday. It was the Fulton Iron Works in this city...It weighs between four and five tons and...15 horsepower.

    This little steam motor was sold in 1896 to Walter Kohl, owner of the Highland Railroad, running between San Bernardino and Patton. Kohl renamed the diminutive creature "The Pepper Box" and described her thusly:

    "She had an upright submerged flue boiler which carried 150 pounds of steam pressure, two upright engines, cylinders six by eight geared two to one to the front drivers and was capable of pulling one coach at thirty miles per hour. We called her the Pepper Box because of her odd shape. The boys in the SP yards looked upon her as a huge joke and they fairly howled when she breezed past. Nevertheless, she did her full share toward keeping the eight-mile Highland line on a paying basis."

    Known as "The Rosecrans Rapid Transit Railway," the d'Artois-Webb dummy line had as its main purpose the promoting of the real estate development of the town of Rosecrans, and it served this purpose well. Special excursions were run on Sundays, and numerous spectacular newspaper ads were to be found in the daily papers. The town of Rosecrans soon doubled in size, and lots went up to $240. In September, 1888, the "Times" expected the line to be extended to the ocean and double tracked.

    This was not to be at that time. Late in 1888 the boom came to an end. Rosecrans along with many other real estate ventures became a ghost town. It is said that six years later, a farmer was arrested for plowing up the deserted streets. With the end of the town of Rosecrans, it might be reasonably expected that the little steam dummy line would likewise expire, but fate held a good hand up its sleeve: Redondo.

    Two prosperous Pacific Northwest lumber and steamship magnates, Captain J. C. Ainsworth and Captain R. R. Thompson, had come to Southern California in 1887 seeking a good port to which their steamers could come in extending their business to rapidly growing Southern California. They decided on making Redondo their terminus, chiefly because a deep marine canyon extended almost to shore, making it possible to load and unload directly from ship to wharf; San Pedro was a mud flat which required the use of lighters. Not only would they save money by eliminating the lighters, but the location of Redondo would make it possible to shorthaul San Pedro as far as trade with the northwest was concerned. Ainsworth and Thompson bought considerable land in and near Redondo and turned their attention to connecting Los Angeles with their future port. The moribund Rosecrans Rapid Transit Railway was build to a point about halfway between the two points and Ainsworth and Thompson lost no time purchasing it. On March 1, 1889, the deal for the purchase of the dummy line was consummated; for a total price of $25,000, the dummy line went to Ainsworth and Thompson, who then formed a new company, "The Redondo Railway Company," incorporated on April 1, 1889. On April 19th of that year, at the first meeting of the Directors of the new company, Thompson and Ainsworth turned over to the company all of their right and title to the Rosecrans Rapid Transit Railway. Two Ransom oil burning motors with upright boilers were bought and the line was put back in operation some time in April, 1889. Ainsworth & Thompson, of course, had to have a heavier, better constructed railroad to haul the passenger and freight traffic they anticipated, so it was decided that, in addition to extending the railroad the nine miles to Redondo, the old line would be completely rebuilt and rerouted in Los Angeles; this rerouting was due to complaints from residents along Vermont Ave. who objected to having long freights running past their front doors. This work started in March, 1889; the first period of the road's existence thus terminated.


    Ainsworth & Thompson had a good thing in redondo. They had it pretty well under control, too; they owned all the waterfront above the mean high tide line, and most of the land surrounding the immediate waterfront area was in their name. Their hold on Redondo was absolute, and the only possible danger confronting them in 1888 was the Santa Fe Railway which on April 5th of that year opened its branch into Redondo from Inglewood.

    The Santa Fe had an unusual series of costly failures in attempting to reach tidewater in Los Angeles County. Its first adventure was a line connecting Los Angeles with ill-fated Port Ballona (Playa del Rey). This line, running via Inglewood, opened on August 21, 1887. Port Ballona proved to be impractical, due to excessive silting and curious soil formation, so the line was rerouted from Inglewood into South Santa Monica (Ocean Park), opening on June 18, 1892; there the Santa Fe built an iron wharf, and minor shipping followed. However, Santa Fe in 1888 foresaw the demise of Port Ballona and built a branch from Inglewood to Redondo. This proved to be its best line of the three, and on March 21, 1902, it sold its South Santa Monica line from Inglewood west to the Los Angeles Pacific, which by that time had practically monopolized passenger business to Santa Monica. In Redondo, Santa Fe always played the role of benevolent bystander; never did it seek control, even when eventually its largest rival, Southern Pacific, entered the scene. Under a long-term lease, Santa Fe enjoyed trackage rights and access to the wharves, although the switching on wharves was done by LA&R. But on April 5, 1888, Santa Fe was in business, running trains between Los Angeles and Redondo via Inglewood. To meet this challenge, Ainsworth & Thompson moved rapidly.

    On March 6, 1889, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors granted the Redondo Railway Company a franchise for the operation of a railroad "from the present terminus of the Rosecrans Railway on Vermont the ocean at Redondo Beach." The franchise was granted with the understanding that the fare was not to exceed three cents a mile. Specified in the franchise was the provision that a certain type of noiseless dummy locomotive was to be used. A delay in obtaining the new locomotives resulted in the company's being given permission to use the old dummy and two light steam locomotives for "a period of 75 days."

    Grading on the extension to Redondo was begun almost immediately and newspapers in the latter part of June reported grading to be complete almost into Redondo, with rails and ties on the property and rolling stock expected in ten days.

    The Redondo Railway had originally planned to build a standard gauge railroad, but on December 30, 1889, the Supervisors were asked to grant permission to change the franchise so as to permit a narrow gauge line; this was granted on May 12, 1890. It is interesting to note that in November of 1889 the Redondo Railway purchased a pair of Baldwin locomotives, three passenger coaches and several freight cars, all three feet gauge.

    The extension was built of 25-lb. steel T rails, and was single track, mostly laid on private way. The total cost for right of way between Rosecrans and Redondo was but $24,736, as much of the necessary land was given. In the records we find this: "Individuals donated 120 acres of land---estimated value, $34,000. Corporations donated 56 town lots; estimated value, $22,400." The total cost of the Redondo Railroad to December 31, 1891, including rolling stock, was more than $300,000, financed entirely through the sale of stock. As of December, 1890, six stockholders owned the 5,000 shares which had a par value of $500,000 (but for which they paid $291,000).

    The route of the line was based on the great Hotel Redondo, one of the Pacific Coast's largest and finest resort hotels. The immense wooden structure, built in the characteristic flamboyant style of the Gay Nineties, sprawled over a bluff which looked down on the gently rounding shore, the wharves, and the railroad lines serving them. Beautifully landscaped grounds, complete with tennis courts, shady nooks, and other essentials, surrounded the huge caravansary, and perched immediately in front of the structure was the unique circular brick building which served as the Redondo Railway's passenger station and general offices. Immediately across the street were the railway's operating headquarters, with roundhouse, coach yard, shops, tanks, and accompanying features. Passengers on the Redondo Railway could step directly from their cars onto the grounds of the hotel. Needless to say, Ainsworth & Thompson owned the hotel. In fact, they controlled Redondo Beach thru three separate companies: The Redondo Railway Company, The Redondo Hotel Company and the Redondo Improvement Company.

    The route of the Redondo Railway was as follows: from the depot in front of the Redondo Hotel, trains left town via Catalina and Diamond Streets, entering private way as they passed the high school at what is today Diamond St. and the Pacific Coast Highway. The private way led first to the little station of Belvidere, then curved eastward to Gardena; here the track swerved left and ran due north on Vermont Avenue, joining the old line near Rosecrans. On up Vermont went the trains, topping the big grade above Gardena, then having easy going until Florence Avenue was reached. Here the Redondo Railway made a major line change; the old Rapid Transit road had to be abandoned north of Florence on Vermont due to objections of residents along the route who abhorred freight trains, hauled by steam locomotives, running past their doors. The Redondo Railway purchased new private way which took it east to Hoover Street from Florence on a beautiful reverse curve. Once on Hoover, trains ran north to approximately Vernon Avenue, where the line veered northeast, crossing Figueroa just south of Santa Barbara, and continuing to the road's new Los Angeles station grounds via private way midway between Grand Ave. and Olive St. until Jefferson Street was reached. Here everybody got off, to continue their journey into the downtown district by boarding cable cars of the Pacific Railway on Grand Ave. or horsecars of the Main St. & Agricultural Park Railway on Main Street.

    The Los Angeles depot grounds were on the southeast corner of Jefferson & Grand; the spacious tract was purchased from a Mr. Milton Thomas, and was a block wide and a half block deep, extending from Jefferson St. beyond tracks of the Los Angeles & Independence railroad (which later became Pacific Electric's Santa Monica Air Line). On this site the Redondo Railway built a fair sized passenger depot, freight sheds, milk platforms, cattle loading docks, and the usual appurtenances of a steam road.

    There is conflict as to the date on which the Redondo Railway began through service. The California Railroad Commission states the Redondo Railroad "was opened for public use in January, 1890." The PE official history states flatly it "was placed in operation...on April 11, 1890." The Los Angeles newspapers, which should know, state the narrow gauge line began operating in June, 1890. At any rate, passengers were being transported to Redondo via Gardena in the middle of 1890. The great Hotel Redondo opened that summer and Redondo Beach began its most glorious era.

    Advertisements in daily papers of that period tell us that the Redondo Railway offered trains from Jefferson and Grand for Redondo Beach about every hour and a half between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM. The Santa Fe at that time was only operating two trains daily to Redondo, perhaps due to the fact that the Redondo Railway was faster, making the 17.7 miles in fifty minutes.

    Success attended the Redondo Railway from the very beginning. The 1892 Report of the Railroad Commission shows that the company earned over $29,000 from passenger fares, nearly $28,000 from freight, and more than $1,000 from other sources. The gross earnings for 1891 were $58,632 and expenses $57,698 -- resulting in a profit of $933.

    As word got around that the Redondo Railway offered an easy way to get to the new, cool seashore town of Redondo, folks flocked to ride the narrow gauge coaches. Sunday and holiday excursions were run, and even in winter the trains were well filled. Indeed, the "Express" reported in January, 1892, that "Every train to this beach yesterday brought down crowded cars. Picknicking parties were numerous. Fishing on the pier was good." Indeed, so excellent was business that the company had to secure additional rolling stock; it was fortunate in being able to obtain at a low price all of the engines and cars of the dormant San Gabriel Valley Rapid Transit Railway (which formerly ran from Los Angeles to Monrovia and Pasadena). For $10,000, the Redondo Railway got two locomotives, three passenger cars, one combo, five flat cars and one service car. This equipment helped out considerably.

    Wharf No. One was built late in 1889 at a cost of $65,000 and in its first year of operation did a gross business of $20,000 at a cost of from $12,000 to $15,000. The wharf attracted ships immediately, due to the fact that it was several hours closer to northern ports than was San Pedro and also enabled ships to tie up to it without the necessity of transferring passengers and cargo to lighters, as was necessary at San Pedro. In addition to passengers, of which there were many, the wharf handled all kinds of freight; about 85% of the latter was made up of lumber, general merchandise, cement, brick and lime; the rest was small shipments of grain, flour, hay, coke, fruit, vegetables, hides, petroleum, sugar, iron, machinery, furniture, wine and beer.

    In September, 1891, Superintendent J. N. Sutton of the Redondo Railway was reported in the "Express" as declaring "The Redondo Railway is doing about all the business it can handle." So good was business that it was declared in the press that the company planned several extensions; it was said the "surveys have been made" for a line from Gardena to San Pedro and another one was expected to run along the coast from Redondo to Santa Monica. "There is also the prospect of the line being extended to the interior towards Chino." Needless to say, these were dreams; none materialized.

    A sidelight of those early times is the statement of wages paid employees. Company officers received $1,200 per year, office clerks received $400 annually, and engineers, conductors and machinists were all paid $1,080, but the poor firemen got only $810. The Redondo Railway employed 56 people; of this total, three were engineers, three were firemen, three were conductors, three were clerks, one was a machinist, and there were about 33 common laborers. The company paid out a total of $43,840 in wages in 1891.

    Apparently things went along on an even keel between 1892 and 1899 for there is little to be found today in the way of information covering this period. Another wharf was constructed, the steam tug "Pelican" was obtained and ten flat cars were purchased from the Southern Pacific in 1895. On April 20, 1896, the name of the Redondo Railway was legally changed to "Los Angeles and Redondo Railway Company," pursuant to an application by stockholders for said change of name. Mr. L. T. Garnsey was president at the time, Mr. P. T. Morgan vice president, and Mr. H. B. Ainsworth secretary and treasurer.

    Some records are available for the year 1899;: gross earnings were less than in 1891, but profits had increased considerably; freight brought in $22,333 and passengers paid in $16,515---but "other" earnings (wharfage charges) amounted to a big $16,643. Total earnings for the year were $55,490 while expenses were $44,677---making a net profit of $10,814, compared to but $933 in 1891.

    By the end of the Nineties, Los Angeles had sampled interurban electric railways, and it liked them muchly. The first small beginnings of the great Pacific Electric empire had been made: Pasadena was tied to Los Angeles by electric railway, and to Santa Monica the broomstick cars ran via Hollywood and W. 16th St. Directors of the Los Angeles & Redondo watched these developments without apparently worrying, as long as their tiny steam trains were not threatened. It was a fool's paradise and it ended when two different electric interurban companies drew dead aim on the lucrative Redondo Beach traffic. To the credit of Garnsey, Ainsworth and fellow LA&R executives, they moved fast when it was still not too late. A revolution in LA&R transportation methods was essential if the road were to survive, and survive it did, through electrification.


    For about a dozen years the little LA&R steam trains chuffed back and forth from Jefferson & Grand to Redondo Beach. Folks of those long-ago years had plenty of time and leisure, so the prospect of taking a cable car downtown, traveling slowly out 7th to Grand, turning at the powerhouse to go down Jefferson, there walking across the street to the LA&R Depot, finding a seat in one of the small coaches, and finally chugging out Hoover, Vermont and over to Redondo through Bridgedale and Belvidere daunted them not a bit. Everyone had to do it, so why bother oneself about the slow trip? Now, if there were a better way...! The better way was coming in the form of two interurbans: the California Pacific, and the Los Angeles Pacific.

    The California Pacific Railway Company was a subsidiary of the Los Angeles Traction Company, owned by William S. Hook and his family. Just as the Traction had given Los Angeles Railway competition by building streetcar lines throughout the city, so did Hook plan to give other interurban railways plenty of competition. Hook's plans called for interurban lines to Long Beach, Santa Ana, Pasadena, Whittier, Hollywood, and San Pedro. Of these, only the one to San Pedro was built, and it bore the name "California Pacific."

    The California Pacific was incorporated on April 27, 1901 and on July 2 of that year it contracted with the Traction to build its line from Los Angeles to San Pedro via Gardena. Construction started in that month at Vermont & 46th and by the end of the year Gardena had been reached. The electric track was 3'6" gauge, single track and occupied LA&R's predecessor company's roadbed down Vermont to Florence. Here the California Pacific veered slightly west and paralleled LA&R all the way to Gardena, the two companies' tracks forming virtually a double track line; each company owned its own right of way, of course, and this is why Vermont Ave. today is of such extreme width - not one, but two railway rights of way once separated the twin vehicular lanes. The first California Pacific cars ran to Gardena on December 30, 1901 - and LA&R had real competition for about half its length.

    Competition also came down the coast from Santa Monica in the form of the electric cars of the Los Angeles Pacific. The LAP opened Las Angeles' first interurban line to the sea when on April 1, 1896, it operated successfully its initial line - that connecting Los Angeles and Santa Monica via Hollywood. Soon the LAP cars had virtually driven from the field the old, established steam railroads and steadily its system was expanded. Southward along the coast came the rails of the LAP, embracing in succession Ocean Park, Venice, Playa del Rey, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa and finally Redondo - the first LAP cars reaching Redondo in the late summer of 1903.

    LA&R officials were keenly aware of the dangerous situation developing and lost no time in protecting themselves. With the California Pacific taking business away on Vermont Avenue, and with the Los Angeles Pacific threatening to do likewise with the through traffic between Los Angeles and Redondo, it was either fight fire with fire or perish. The first move was taken on January 4, 1902, when directors voted unanimously to amend the Articles of Incorporation to permit the use of electricity to propel trains.

    Inglewood Line: Two dates are given for authorization of building LA&R's first electric line; the newspapers claim the stockholders approved a $500,000 bond issue to build this line via Inglewood in mid-January, 1902 - but the PE official history claims it was not until May 2nd of that year that the contracts were let. The newspapers follow up their authorization date by repeatedly referring to work being under way; therefore the mid-January date would appear to be correct.

    The new line, of 3'6" gauge, left the steam line at Belvidere, about three miles outside Redondo. From there it ran direct as an arrow's flight to what is today the intersection of Hawthorne Blvd. and Redondo Blvd. Here it turned slightly leftward - due north - and passed through the center of the so-called Centinela Valley; at the time there were few homes and only two settlements of any size: Inglewood and Hyde Park. The new line veered eastward after passing through Inglewood and ran alongside Inglewood Cemetery, crossed the Santa Fe's Redondo line, and proceeded to what is now Crenshaw Blvd. Here it turned again north and passed through Hyde Park. Continuing north, the line reached Vernon Ave. and began its wide, sweeping curve (Baldwin Curve) to the east, emerging on Santa Barbara Ave. Down Santa Barbara it went, finally reaching Vermont Ave. Here it veered slightly to the north, continuing east on Santa Barbara until it joined the old line at Santa Barbara & Figueroa. Then on into Jefferson & Grand Depot.

    An item of immense importance in LA&R's history occurred on March 17, 1902, when the company and LARY entered into a trackage agreement whereby LA&R interurban cars were enabled to use LARY tracks into downtown Los Angeles, eliminating any necessity for a transfer and permitting the company to establish a downtown station. While it was not generally known at that time, this benevolent gesture on LARY's part was due to Mr. Henry E. Huntington, president of both LARY and PE; at an undetermined time Mr. Huntington obtained a large stock interest in LA&R - perhaps as early as 1901. In return for the trackage rights on LARY, LA&R was to lease to LARY the inner parts of its interurban lines so that they could be operated by LARY with LARY crews and cars.

    To permit the maintenance and building of cars, LA&R decided to build a completely new shop building in Redondo. This was accomplished in 1902 and everything was in readiness for occupancy by September 1st of that year.

    Mr. L. B. Pemberton was appointed electrical engineer of LA&R. He was a former LAP man and brought many LAP practises with him. Mr. Horace Anderson, electrical engineer of PE, was also interested in a general way with the electrification and recalls ten sets of motor and control equipment being ordered through his office and some of the LA&R cars being equipped at the PE shops in Los Angeles.

    Two substations were erected: at Belvidere and at Centinela (adjacent to Inglewood Cemetery). Power was purchased from PE's big steam plant on Central Ave. near 6th St., Los Angeles; the feeder (AC) ran down PE's Long Beach line to Vernon Avenue, then west to Centinela via Vermont Ave. and Santa Barbara Ave. As was usual in those days, 600 volts DC was decided upon.

    It is interesting to note that the construction of LA&R's Inglewood line coincided with PE's construction of its Long Beach line; the latter line was so much larger and costlier that LA&R was almost overlooked in the daily press.

    It was hoped to open the Inglewood line by July 4, 1902 but delays in receiving materials caused several postponements. Not until November 23rd was the first trial run made. Three cars were ready for use, cars 1, 2 and 3. On November 28 the Inglewood line ran regular service for the first time; two cars shuttled back and forth between Los Angeles (2nd & Spring) and Redondo (Pacific and Opal) while the third did local service from Angelus Mesa & Vernon Ave. to 2nd & Spring.

    A slight rerouting took place in Redondo as electric cars were run down the Diamond St. hill to Pacific, thence south to Opal, thus depositing passengers much closer to the wharves and most stores, as well as preventing LAP from obtaining a monopoly on Pacific Ave. As it was, each company had a single track on Pacific from Diamond nearly to Opal where LAP turned back and LA&R went to two tracks. Steam trains had operated via Diamond, private way, Catalina Ave. to the Hotel Redondo at Pacific & Opal. The old route was retained and used by electric cars to deadhead to and from the car house.

    The Inglewood line was constructed of 60-lb. T-rail and was entirely single track, although graded for most of its length for two tracks.

    The Gardena Line: Upon completion of work on the Inglewood line, gangs were transferred to the old steam line. Work began in November, 1902, and involved changing the gauge from 3'0" to 3'6", laying new 60 lb. rail and erecting the necessary overhead and feeder wire.

    The new electric line followed the old line except in the matter of a slight rerouting in Los Angeles. The steam line had left Hoover St. at Vernon Avenue, thence proceeding straight across country to Santa Barbara and Grand, there joining the private way which led up to Jefferson and Grand. The new line ran up Hoover to Santa Barbara Ave. where it joined the Inglewood line by means of a wide curve. This curve later became the scene of two tragic accidents. The old line was kept for a time, then abandoned at an unknown date.

    The Gardena Division opened as an electric railway on May 18, 1903 and provided LA&R its big selling point: "Go one way, return the other; see twice as much for the same fare!"

    By the time the Gardena line was ready for service, the Redondo shops had turned out five more cars: 4 through 8.

    Through a cross-country network of feeders, LA&R postponed the necessity of constructing another substation; Belvidere and Centinela proved capable of providing sufficient power for Gardena as well as Inglewood.

    Purchase by Huntington: Henry E. Huntington is best known for his tremendous deeds in relation to Pacific Electric and Los Angeles Railway. Not well known is his transforming LA&R into a major railway company.

    Under the Ainsworth-Thompson management, LA&R was by no means a prominent, strong company. Ainsworth and Thompson had many other interests up and down the Pacific Coast and the LA&R occupied comparatively little of their energies and time. Although Mr. Huntington already owned some stock in LA&R, he was too occupied with expanding his PE empire and developing LARY, LAIU and other railway companies to pay much attention to the little line to Redondo. After the completion of the Gardena Division, just about the only major jobs undertaken by the company prior to the Huntington regime were double tracking from Redondo to Belvidere and building Wharf No. Three.

    On July 7, 1905, it was revealed that the Redondo Improvement Company, owning 90% of the townsite of Redondo, had been purchased by Mr. Huntington. This news touched off a wild speculative boom which lasted for only a week, yet produced many frenzied scenes as well as substantial profits for a lucky few.

    On July 12, 1905, announcement was made by President Garnsey of LA&R that Mr. Huntington had purchased all of the stock of the LA&R and that "Mr. Huntington now owns all of Redondo...the railway, the wharves, the waterfront, & about three-fourths of the area of the city of Redondo - everything in fact except the Hotel Redondo." In buying up the remainder of the stock of LA&R, Mr. Huntington did so as a private venture; he used no funds of either PE, LARY et al, nor did he intend to merge LA&R with other companies.

    Following his purchase of LA&R, the outstanding traction magnate of the west put into train the policies which had proved so rewarding to him in earlier PE days: large tracts of land were purchased and railway lines extended into them -- this raising the value of the lots and enabling Huntington to make the double profit of selling lots for a profit and then hauling the people on his cars. Among large tracts purchased in the Redondo area by Huntington in mid-1905 were the Downey Ranch, the Dodson Ranch, the Bixby Ranch and the Palos Verdes Ranch.

    Meanwhile, the Ascot Park Race Track was built by Huntington associates at Slauson & Avalon (then South Park). PE Built a line to serve the track (today known as the Wingfoot line), while LARY extended tracks into the grounds via both South Park and Central Avenues. Huntington caused LA&R to construct a line from Moneta Ave. via 61st St. to the race track; this line opened on November 30, 1905, but was leased to LARY and always operated with LARY crews and cars. Oldtimers say positively that no LA&R car ever ran to the Ascot Park Race Track. Ascot Park was closed in August 1908 and horse racing in the Los Angeles area then was carried on at Lucky Baldwin's new track at Arcadia.

    With Huntington's millions behind it, the LA&R soon began to expand. In Redondo, the Opal Street line was constructed to serve a residential district back from the front. An extension of this line via Maria St. to the main line provided a loop which was never a success financially and which PE abandoned as soon as possible after the Great Merger. But 1906 saw great things happening: the Dalton Ave. line, Los Angeles, opened on June 14th. On December 23rd came the 48th St. line, also in Los Angeles. Both these were leased by LARY and never saw an LA&R car aside from construction trains. Ten new passenger cars were ordered from the Redondo shops, and the double tracking of both subdivisions was pushed forward energetically. In 1907, a third major line was constructed, the Moneta Ave. line.

    Moneta Division: LARY had pushed its Main Street car line south on Moneta Ave. at various periods. By mid-1905 this LARY line reached 53rd St., where it turned east to South Park Ave. South of the 53rd St. intersection, Moneta Ave. was given to LA&R by Huntington. LA&R began work on its Moneta Division in late 1906 and the first segment, that part extending from 61st southerly to Manchester Avenue, was opened for service on April 18, 1907. We are unable to say whether or not LARY cars and crews performed the first months of service. It is probable that they did.

    The second segment of the Moneta Division extended south from Manchester Ave. via private right of way southerly and westerly to a junction with the Gardena Division near Strawberry Park. This was opened on August 30, 1907, and provided LA&R with its third and last through line to Redondo. The new line was built on the same standards as the first two: 60-lb. T-rail, six foot ties, 3'6" gauge. LA&R cars and crews performed all service on the through line from the beginning. LA&R cars reached the 2nd & Spring Station via LARY rails thusly: north on Moneta from 61st to Main St., north on Main to Broadway (now Broadway Place), north on the latter street to Second St. A new substation was constructed at Strawberry Park.

    A branch was constructed from the Hoover St. line in 1906, the 48th St. line. This was opened on December 23rd of that year and was leased to LARY from its inception.

    Meanwhile, Huntington began to cash in on his land purchases in the Redondo area. His first and biggest venture was Cliffton-By-The-Sea, two miles south of Redondo. LA&R tracks were extended to this tract in 1906 and every car terminated there. Huntington himself built a pretentious residence on the bluff overlooking the sea, and LA&R cars gave free rides to all prospective land purchasers who didn't agree that Cliffton was the outstanding watering place of the Southern California coast.

    LA&R was indeed filling out during these Huntington years. The Inglewood Division was double tracked, as was the main line in Redondo from the car house to Cliffton. Other double tracking included Belvidere to Bridgedale, Vermont Ave. Square Jct. (48th & Hoover) to Figueroa Jct. (Hoover & Santa Barbara); spurs, yard tracks and sidings were increased considerably at the same time.

    A major step forward insofar as equipment was concerned came in 1908 when multiple unit control was introduced on LA&R. While PE had gone to MU operation in 1906 and LAP in 1907, LA&R delayed, feeling that the new trolley trains were unnecessary for traffic needs of the time. However, Huntington made Redondo into a great resort attraction by the addition of huge amusement structures along the waterfront: The Pavilion, the Casino, and finally the huge swimming pool -- largest indoor plunge in the world. These brought all the patrons LA&R could handle and made MU operation essential if peak crowds were to be handled at all satisfactorily. LA&R installed this control system on the last two of its suburban cars, 117 and 118 in 1908; when the new 200 Class cars appeared, they all had it. Two and even three car trains thereafter ran on the Inglewood and Moneta Divisions; the old Gardena Division was relegated to a poor country cousin status.

    After the Moneta Division opened, LA&R ran through service between Los Angeles and Redondo via Gardena over it. The old Gardena line up Vermont and Hoover became a stub line; its cars left 2nd & Spring as always, but they ran only to Strawberry Park, transferring all passengers to Moneta Division cars. Thus the old steam route became the least important of LA&R's three through routes; indeed, the only through service over it after 1907 was a daily Wells-Fargo combination passenger-baggage car every afternoon, and the morning and evening pull-outs and pull-ins from Redondo car house. Cars on this line were marked "Strawberry Park" and the line eventually was given that name - unofficially at first, then officially.

    Throughout all these years, freight business kept pace with passenger traffic. From the first day of electric operation, LA&R was in the freight picture in a big way. Two box motors were obtained by rebuilding two steam baggage cars. These hauled five or six cars to and from Los Angeles, serving way points. Later two electric locomotives were added, as well as work motors which could handle road service as well as switching duties. LA&R's freight business built up well -- in fact, at the time of the Merger, Redondo was listed by the new PE as enjoying the best daily freight train service of any city of comparable size on the system.

    Southern Pacific Ownership: On September 1, 1910, it was announced that Mr. Huntington had decided to retire from active management of his various companies. To make this possible, he sold all his interurban holdings, keeping only the local lines within Los Angeles which would be turned over to his son (Howard) to operate. Included in this transaction was the LA&R and of all the companies involved in the Great Merger, LA&R suffered the most.

    Because of its unique position, LA&R was split down the middle - half going to the new PE, half going to LARY. The split was literally that - the Hawthorne station was divided right down the middle. Those lines north of roughly 116th St. were turned over to LARY, while those south were acquired by PE. In terms of equivalent single track, PE took over 45.52 miles of LA&R trackage; LARY obtained 43.19 miles. PE secured all of the LA&R rolling stock, as Huntington considered none of it to be suitable for local service. LARY took over the Centinela substation, but PE got both Strawberry Park and Belvidere.

    By deed dated November 10th, 1910, this transfer of ownership became effective. Mr. Huntington purchased the city end of the LA&R system for $930,600 and deeded it to Los Angeles Railway the same day. All LA&R stock was then sold to New PE.

    PE's half of LA&R was obtained through its ownership of all stock of the company; a new board of directors was elected on November 10, 1910, and thereafter the destiny of LA&R was in the hands of SP men, headed by Mr. Paul Shoup.

    Before PE could integrate LA&R, it was of course necessary to change the gauge of the latter company to 4'8 1/2". It was decided to construct a cutoff line across country from PE's Long Beach line at Watts; this would connect with the Moneta Division at Homeward Ave. Then the Moneta Division would be standard gauged first, after which the cutoff line would be continued westward to connect with the Strawberry Park line and finally with the Inglewood Division. This actually took place with construction getting under way on May 20, 1911.

    Physical consolidation of LA&R and new PE occurred on April 1, 1911. After that date all tickets bore the name "Pacific Electric" and were interchangeable with those of the ex-LAP and ex-PE San Pedro narrow gauge.

    For its part, LARY had a much easier time assimilating its half of LA&R. No track changes were necessary, and sufficient cars were on hand to take over the service whenever PE could take over the outer ends of the lines.

    Meanwhile, a very interesting situation arose. PE had no franchise to operate cars on Grand Avenue, 7th St., Moneta Avenue, or on Broadway. Company critics, of whom there always seemed to be many, brought this fact continually to the fore and finally the Los Angeles City Council ordered PE to secure a temporary franchise to operate its cars over LARY rails on those streets. This PE did in September, 1911. The former LA&R cars were going through the shops for repainting in PE red, but remained narrow gauge. Thus it was possible for about six months in 1911 for one to see PE cars running on 7th St., Broadway, 2nd St., Spring St. and on Grand and Moneta Avenues. This became especially confusing in the case of trains, where one car might still be in LA&R green, the other in bright new crimson.

    PE ran into some very stubborn people in the neighborhood of Watts. Upon learning of the company's desire to obtain a right of way, property owners shot their prices sky-high. Eventually some cases landed in court. This delayed considerably the construction of the cutoff line.

    By mid-August, 1911, work was going ahead under a full head of steam. The new double track cutoff line to Homeward and a second track between Moneta (Western Ave.) and Bridgedale were under way, and eight-foot ties had been installed along the entire Moneta Division. One of the two tracks of the Moneta Division between Homeward and Moneta was being standard gauged, and the necessary special work was on the scene, ready to be slid into place and spiked down.

    At this moment a major rerouting occurred in downtown Las Angeles. Complaints against blockading 2nd St. by standing cars had been received before, but suddenly Shoup ordered a loop service through the downtown section installed. This loop took all LA&R cars up Spring St. instead of Broadway, to Temple, to Main, to First, to Spring. This meant the virtual abandonment of the LA&R Station, as it was no longer even on the route of the Redondo cars. LARY also played a part in this rerouting as it desired the heavy interurban cars to be kept off its new trackage on Broadway. The new route became effective on August 12, 1911.

    September 16, 1911, saw 5,000 LARY employees in Redondo Beach on their annual picnic. Starting in 1908, these LARY picnics afforded the unusual sight of yellow cars beside the Pacific Ocean. Operating via Inglewood, the LARY cars made no stops and laid over at the end of the line at Cliffton. Between twenty and thirty LARY Standards made the trip down to the seashore and back again, something not possible ever again after 1911.

    Work on the standard gauging and the new cutoff finally resulted in success. On Saturday night, November 11, 1911, LA&R cars were to be seen as usual on Moneta and Grand Avenues and in the downtown district. With the first car Sunday morning, all LA&R cars began operating into 6th & Main Station via Gardena and Watts. That same morning, yellow cars began running on the three stubs of interurban lines: Moneta Avenue, Vermont Avenue, and Inglewood-Hawthorne. To serve the outer ends of the last two, PE ran jiggers between Vermont-116th and Strawberry Park and from Hawthorne to Belvidere. An era had ended.


    The following corporate histories are taken 95% verbatim from the Official History of Pacific Electric, written by that company's Engineering Department in 1914. Throughout the years since it was first compiled, this Official History has served as the company's final authority when called upon by courts or regulatory bodies to establish historical fact.

    Unit Numbers following each company's name were arbitrarily assigned by the PE Chief engineer to promote clarity.



    During the great boom of 1886 and 1887, Emil d'Artois and Walter L. Webb of Los Angeles, who were promoters of real estate schemes, conceived the idea of laying out a townsite some two miles north of the Rosecrans Rancho in Los Angeles County on the county highway known as Vermont Avenue, which townsite became a reality during the month of August, 1887, and was named "Rosecrans."

    In order to sell lots in their new town, it was necessary for the promoters to provide some means of transporting prospective purchasers thereto from Los Angeles City.

    On July 1, 1887, d'Artois obtained from the Supervisors a fifty-year franchise to construct, maintain and operate a single track line of railroad, with the right and privilege to change the same at any time during the life of said franchise to a double track line; and to run cars thereon to be moved by steam, cables, or electric power over this route:

    Commencing at a point at or near the terminus of the Main Street & Agricultural Park Railroad Company's track at Agricultural (Exposition) Park, and running thence westerly along the center line of San Bernardino (46th) St. to Vermont Ave.; thence southerly along the center line of Vermont Ave. to a point at or near the northeast corner of the southeast quarter of Section 12, Township 3 South, Range 14 West, San Bernardino Base and Meridian; thence westerly along land owned by said d'Artois to Ballona Ave.; thence westerly along the center line of Ballona Ave. to the ocean beach.

    One of the provisions of the passage of this ordinance granting the above mentioned franchise was that construction would be commenced within ninety days, and that the line should be completed from the point of commencement to Ballona Ave. within two years, and to the ocean beach within four years from the date on which the ordinance was adopted.

    Road constructed: D'Artois and Webb constructed a single track line of railroad of three-foot gauge with second-hand fifteen-pound iron rails, and ties of very small size, as follows:

    From a point in Agricultural Park at or near the intersection of Wesley (University) Ave. and Santa Monica (Exposition) Ave. and in close proximity to the main entrance to said park in a southwesterly direction across the northwest portion of the said park to what is now 46th St. in Los Angeles; west on 46th St. to Vermont Ave.; thence south along what the builders of said railroad supposed to be the center line of Vermont Ave. to Drexel Ave. in the townsite of Rosecrans; thence west on Drexel Ave. about one thousand feet to a point in said avenue about midway between Poplar and Chestnut Streets.

    The length of said line was 6.161 miles, all main line as there were no spurs.

    Ownership: This railroad was known as "The Rosecrans Rapid Transit Railway" and also as "The Los Angeles & Rosecrans Railway," but was generally called "The Rosecrans Rapid Transit Railway." There is no record of the formal organization of a company to take over the road, and the Articles of Incorporation of a corporation under either of the names mentioned herein could not be located in records of the County Clerk of Los Angeles County. It seems evident therefore that no railroad company was incorporated for the purpose of owning this line, and that the promoters, d'Artois and Webb, were the owners of the line.

    Operation: The line was ready for operation during the latter part of 1887, and the owners purchased from the Main Street & Agricultural Park Railroad Company two second hand single truck cars, and from some other source they obtained a diminutive steam dummy engine with upright boiler which was also second hand.

    The operation was carried on spasmodically for a limited period, or until the summer of 1888, when the boom collapsed. Operation was then discontinued and weeds grew over the railroad tracks.

    Sale of Road: On January 7, 1889, d'Artois and Webb entered into an agreement with Mr. S. O. Brown of Los Angeles whereby Brown was given an option to buy this railroad for the sum of $25,000. The sum of $250 was paid in cash for the option, which was effective until March 1, 1889, and in the event of a sale the option price was to apply and did apply on the total purchase price. The balance was due and payable as follows: $4750 on March 1, 1889, and $5,000 on the first days of March in 1890, 1891, 1892 and 1893.

    The deal for the purchase of the property by said Brown was consummated shortly before the expiration of the time limit: March 1, 1889. The option was turned over by Brown to Captain J. C. Ainsworth and Captain R. R. Thompson, who paid the $4750 due on March 1, 1889, and executed their joint notes for the deferred payments amounting to $20,000, evidenced by four notes of $5,000 each, payable in one, two, three and four years from March 1, 1889, with interest at the rate of 7% annually, secured by a mortgage on the road and rolling stock.

    FINAL DISPOSITION: On April 19, 1889, at the first meeting of the Directors of The Redondo Railway Company (Unit 21), R. R. Thompson and J. C. Ainsworth turned over to that company all of their right and title to the said "Rosecrans Rapid Transit Railway," and the Redondo Railway Company assumed the outstanding notes mentioned and refunded to said Thompson and Ainsworth the amounts expended by them in cash on account of the acquisition of said railroad.


    Incorporated in California on April 1, 1889 with its main office in Los Angeles. Its officials were: George J. Ainsworth, President; S. O. Brown, Vice-president; R. G. Brewer, Secretary-Treasurer.

    The announced purposes of the company were to construct, operate and maintain a narrow-gauge railway between Los Angeles and Redondo; to construct, charter or otherwise acquire steamers, tugs, vessels and barges to run in connection with the said railway; to construct, lease or otherwise acquire docks, wharves, warehouses, etc.

    The proposed road was to be a narrow gauge railway (steam) from Los Angeles to Redondo Beach, about twenty miles. The company was capitalized at $500,000 (500 shares @ $100 each). On June 3, 1890, the office of the company was moved from Los Angeles to Redondo Beach. On May 14, 1894, the bonded indebtedness of $250,000 was created; the bonds were not sold, however, and remained in the treasury of the company.

    During March, 1889, S. O. Brown transferred the option he held on the Rosecrans Rapid Transit Railway to Ainsworth and Thompson; these men consummated the purchase of the railway for the Redondo Railway Company.

    The road purchased consisted of a single track line of 3' gauge, built of second hand 15-lb. iron rails from the northwest portion of Agricultural Park south along Vermont Ave. to Drexel Avenue, Rosecrans - 6.161 miles.

    This company acquired two Ransom oil burning motors with upright boilers and placed the road in operation during April 1889. These motors were used until the latter part of that year.


    The company acquired the necessary franchises from the Los Angeles County Supervisors covering the construction, operation and maintenance of a steam railroad between Los Angeles City and Redondo Beach. Serious objection was raised by the property owners along Vermont Ave. to the operation of a steam road on that street. On April 22, 1889, the company began the acquisition of a private right of way, leaving Vermont at Florence Avenue, and running northeasterly to what is now Hoover St. in Los Angeles; thence north on Hoover to Santa Barbara Ave.; then along Santa Barbara Ave. about 1,200 feet to a point in Olive Street between Grand Ave. and Del Monte St.; then to Grand Ave. & Jefferson St.

    Terminal grounds were purchased from Milton Thomas of Los Angeles on December 31, 1889, on Grand Ave. between Jefferson St. and the right of way of the Los Angeles & Independence Railroad (Santa Monica Air Line) for the sum of $26,300.

    That portion of the Rosecrans Rapid Transit Railway between Florence & Vermont on the north to the intersection of Vermont with Drexel Ave. in Rosecrans townsite was entirely rebuilt with 25-lb. steel T rails, starting in March, 1889. This work was completed during November, 1889, and the balance of the Rosecrans Rapid Transit Ry. was abandoned and tracks removed.


    During March, 1889, the preliminary surveys were run on the line between Rosecrans and Redondo; grading commenced during April, 1889, but the laying of track was not commenced until November 8, 1889.

    This was a single track steam road of three-foot gauge, having 25-lb. steel T rails, and was constructed from Redondo via Belvidere (El Nido) to Bridgedale on private rights of way; thence from Bridgedale to Vermont & Florence (via Gardena) under franchise; then over private way to Jefferson & Grand.

    The line was completed during the spring of 1890. It was placed in operation as a steam railroad on April 11, 1890. The total length of this line was 17.7 miles, single track, with approximately three miles of yard tracks, spurs, and sidings.


    During November, 1899, this company purchased two Baldwin locomotives, three passenger coaches and several freight cars.

    In June, 1892, all of the rolling stock of the San Gabriel Valley Rapid Transit Railway (Unit 29) was purchased for the sum of $10,000, plus freight charges to Redondo, consisting of the following:

2 locomotives$3000.00
3 passenger cars4200.00
1 combination car1800.00
5 flat cars900.00
1 service car100.00

    On June 3, 1895, this company purchased from the Southern Pacific Company ten flat cars for the sum of $2,500.


    On April 20, 1896, the name of this corporation was changed to "Los Angeles & Redondo Railway Company" by order of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. This company is shown as Unit 60.


    On April 20, 1896, by order of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, signed by Judge Walter Van Dyke, in Department No. Four, the name of the Redondo Railway Company, incorporated under the Laws of California on April 1, 1889, was changed to "Los Angeles & Redondo Railway Company," pursuant to an application of the stockholders of the said Redondo Railway Company.

    At this time L. T. Garnsey was President & General Manager, P. T. Morgan was Vice-president, and H. B. Ainsworth was the Secretary-Treasurer. No change was made in the Board of Directors of the old company, nor were any officials changed at the first meeting of the directors of the LA&R which was held on September 29, 1896; the company as theretofore organized continued to transact business under the new name.

    At a special meeting of the Directors held at the office in Redondo Beach on January 4, 1902, the unanimous consent of all the stockholders having been secured, the Directors voted to amend the Articles of Incorporation of the Redondo Railway Company.

    The Amended Articles of Incorporation were dated January 4, 1902, filed with the County Clerk on January 7, 1902, and a certified copy of same filed in the office of the Secretary of State of California on January 8, 1902.

    Capitalization was increased as follows: The stockholders at a special meeting held on April 13, 1903, voted unanimously to increase the total capital stock from $500,000 to one million dollars, represented by 10,000 shares of the par value of $100 each. This was not effected, due to some legal deficiency. However, on October 31, 1907, the capitalization was legally increased from $500,000 to $5,000,000, divided into 50,000 shares of $100 each. On June 15, 1909, the directors adopted a resolution authorizing the cancellation of the old certificates covering the original $500,000 capital stock and the issuance in lieu thereof of the total capitalization (then $5,000,000) on the basis of ten shares for each share of the original stock offered for cancellation.


    On April 20, 1896, this company succeeded to all property of every kind whatsoever owned by said Redondo Railway Company. This consisted of a line of single track steam railroad of three-foot gauge between Los Angeles and Redondo, together with the equipment and appurtenances for same, as well as valuable rights of way and other lands, and also Wharves No. 1 and 2 at Redondo, with their moorings, and the steam tug, "Pelican."

    The operation of the steam road was continued by this corporation until the spring of 1903.

    On May 2, 1902, the directors authorized the proper officials to execute the necessary contracts covering the grading for a double track line between Redondo and Los Angeles via Inglewood. Contracts were also let during this month for the erection of new shops on block No. 146 in Redondo, which work was completed about September 1, 1902.

    The new line was graded for a double track between Redondo and Inglewood and for a single track between Inglewood and Los Angeles via Hyde Park and Santa Barbara Ave. at its intersection with Hoover St. Tracklaying was commenced in June, 1902, and completed in November of that year, but only a single track line of sixty-lb. steel rails, 3'6" gauge, was constructed at this time. The overhead construction followed closely the laying of the steel, and was completed during November, 1902.

    Prior to the completion of this line, the preliminary work of changing the steam road into an electric line was begun. This line was rebuilt to 3'6" gauge and 60-lb. steel rails were laid over its entire length between November, 1902, and June, 1903. It was ready for operation by the middle of May, 1903. This was known as "The Gardena Division," and was single track.

    The 61st St. Line, from Moneta Ave. (Broadway) to Ascot Park, was constructed during 1905; the Dalton Ave. Line, from the Inglewood Division to 42nd St., and the 48th St. Line, from the Gardena Division to Arlington Avenue, were constructed in 1906; during 1907, the Moneta Ave. Division was constructed from Slauson Ave. to a connection with the Gardena Division just north of Strawberry Park. During 1909, the Dalton Ave. Line was extended from 42nd St. to a point 385' south of the south line of Vernon Avenue, approximately fifteen hundred feet, and the 54th St. Line, from Moneta Ave. to Denker Ave. was built.

    Other items of construction will be listed herein under the following three periods:

March 1, 1902 - June 30, 1905:
Second track, from Belvidere to Redondo; about 3 miles; Pacific Ave. Line, and extension of Catalina Ave. line, both in Redondo; about 1 mile; Two substation buildings, brick car barn and shop, and Wharf No. 3.
July 1, 1905 - December 31, 1908:
2.18 miles of single track electric railway, viz:
Topaz St., Redondo, to Clifton-by-the-Sea
Opal St. Division, Redondo1.34
16.94 miles of second track, viz:
Culler to Figueroa Junction
Diamond St. to Clifton, via Catalina Ave.
Dominguez St. to Pacific Avenue, via Diamond St.
Vermont Avenue Square Junction to Figueroa Junction
Bridgedale to Belvidere.
1.65 miles of yard tracks, spurs and sidings, at Lawndale, Inglewood Freight House, Cemetery, Belvidere, Culler, Old Sunnyside, Athens, Ballast Pit, Commercial Gravel Pit, Gardena Freight House, and various industrial spurs in Redondo. 1.66 miles of commercial light and power line from Strawberry Park to Hermosa.
January 1, 1909 - August 31, 1911:
Construction of a new bath house, 200' by 400', four stories high, completed October 26, 1909;
Preliminary work of standard gauging all road and equipment owned by this company on January 1, 1911;

MILEAGE OF ROAD OWNED: The following is a summary of the mileage of narrow gauge electric railway lines owned by this company:
Double track lines32.62
Equiv. 1-track:65.24
Single track lines12.65
Yards, spurs, sidings10.82


    On March 17, 1902, this company executed a traffic arrangement with Los Angeles Railway Company covering the operation over that company's tracks from Jefferson St. & Grand Ave. to 2nd & Spring Sts. The company established passenger and freight offices at 217 W. 2nd St. in downtown Los Angeles. The Inglewood and Gardena Divisions were operated from 2nd & Spring to Broadway, to 7th, to Grand, to Jefferson, and thence over this company's tracks to Redondo. The company's Los Angeles lines (61st St., 48th St., Dalton Avenue, and 54th St.) were operated by Los Angeles Railway under lease from this company.

The following is a summary of dates on which these lines were first placed in operation as electric railway lines:
Inglewood DivisionNovember 27, 1902
Gardena DivisionMay 18, 1903
61st St. LineNovember 30, 1905
Dalton Ave. Line    to 42nd St.June 14, 1906
to 45th St.July 15, 1909
48th St. LineDecember 23, 1906
Moneta Ave. Division
to Manchester Ave.April 18, 1907
through to RedondoAugust 30, 1907
54th St. LineJune 15, 1909


    On July 20, 1905, control of this corporation was acquired by the Henry E. Huntington interests through ownership of a majority of the outstanding capital stock, and a new Board of Directors was elected. On August 10, 1906, the principal place of business was changed from Redondo to the Pacific Electric Building in Los Angeles, but general offices were maintained in Redondo.

    On November 10, 1910, control passed to Southern Pacific Company interests through stock ownership, and a new Board of Directors was elected on that date.

    The general offices of the company were moved to Los Angeles during the latter part of January, 1911.


    By deed dated November 10, 1910, this company sold to Mr. Henry E. Huntington for and in consideration of the sum of $930,600 all those portions of its railway, rights of way, station grounds, buildings and fixtures, franchises, rights and privileges, situated in Los Angeles County and described as follows:

    Inglewood Division: Everything pertaining to this line north of the center line of Hawthorne Station.

    Gardena Division: Everything pertaining to this line north of the north line of Monte Vista Ave.

    Moneta Division: Everything north of south line of Homeward Ave.

    L.A. City Lines: All of the Dalton Avenue, 48th St., 54th St., and 61st St. lines.

Double Track:17.41 miles
Single Track:7.12 miles
Yards, Spurs, etc.:1.25 miles
Equivalent single track:43.19 miles

Double track:15.21 miles
Single track:5.53 miles
Yards, etc.:9.57 miles
Equivalent single track:45.52 miles


    At a special meeting held on February 15, 1911, the Directors adopted a resolution denoting the intention of this company to consolidate with the following named companies to form a new corporation under the laws of California to be known as "Pacific Electric Railway Company:"

    Pacific Electric                     Los Angeles Interurban     Los Angeles Pacific                 Redlands Central     Riverside & Arlington                San Bernardino Interurban     San Bernardino Valley Traction     The above consolidation became effective on September 1, 1911.     (And thus ended the LA&R, split almost evenly between the traction empires of the Southern Pacific and Huntington.)

Edited by Ira L. Swett, January 30, 1957, Associate Editor Lazear Isreal, converted to web format by Pete Betz, 1998 & John Heller, August 7, 1996

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