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Redlands Local Lines


      Local lines in Redlands were acquired in 1911 from two companies: the San Bernardino Valley Traction Company and the Redlands Central Railway. The SBVT's lines in Redlands came to it in June, 1903, when it and the Redlands Street Railway merged under the SBVT name. The Redlands Central operated but a single line, that on Citrus Ave.; the RC was purchased by Mr. Huntington in 1908 at the same time he purchased SBVT.

Route: From Orange & Citrus, west on Brookside Ave. to San Mateo.
History: Built in 1908 by RC as extension of its Citrus Ave. Line; was intended to go through to Riverside, but sale of RC stopped all extensions. Abandoned 16 June 1926.

Route: From Orange & Citrus, south on Cajon to Cypress Avenue, west on Cypress to Cedar Street, west on Cedar to Canyon Crest Park, Smiley Heights.

History: Built 1899 by Redlands Street Railway to Smiley Heights, with car No. 1 making first run on 19 December 1899. In 1900, extended to Terracina, opening on 6 November 1900. Latter connection to Terracina removed 1920(See Olive Ave. Line). Last car to Smiley Heights ran on 20 July 1936.

Operation:: As of 1 February 1924, half-hourly service was provided from 5:35 AM to 11:05 PM, then from 11:50 AM to 10:20 PM, then 11:00 PM. The 72 trips daily required two crews of one operator each with headquarters at Redlands car house. A single Birney was used. The line was 2.94 miles long and was single-track; 0.57 miles on private way, remainder in city streets. From 1 July 1926 to 30 June 1927 the line carried 75,042 passengers, resulting in a revenue of $7,251; operating expense was estimated to be $7,100 and taxes $800, leaving a loss of about $650. In 1924 the line carried 95,950 passengers.

Route: From Orange & Citrus, south on Cajon to Olive Avenue, thence west on Olive Ave. and Laurel St. to Terracina. Like all Redlands lines, it was single track. 2.03 miles long, all in city streets.

History: Built 1903 by SBVT to Bellevue & Laurel; opened in November, 1903. Extended along Laurel St. to Terracina in 1904, opening to Terracina in September, 1904. In got the bulk of the Terracina traffic, being more direct than the Smiley Heights route. Abandoned 20 December 1922; rails removed in 1923.

Route: From Orange & Citrus, south on Cajon St. to Country Club. 2.81 miles, all single-track; 1.42 m. on private way, 1.40 m. in city streets.

History: Built by RSRY in 1889 and 1901. Abandoned 23 May 1926, and rails removed at once beyond Cajon & Cypress.

Operation:: As of 1 February 1924, car left Orange & Citrus at 6:25 AM and hourly for Country Club until 6:08 PM, then 6:40, 7:50, 8:50, 9:50 and 11:00 PM. Hourly service as far as Elizabeth St.(five stops south of Cajon & Garden) left at 58 minutes after the hour until 9:58; then 12:08 PM and hourly until 5:08 PM. Running time: to Country Club, 16 minutes; to Elizabeth Street, 13 minutes.

Route: From Citrus Ave. & Wabash St., west on Citrus to Orange. 3.55 miles, single track.

History: Built by RC 1908. Abandoned 23 May 1926.

Operation:: As of 1 February 1924, car left Orange & Citrus at 6:05 AM and every 30 minutes until 11:05 AM and every 30 minutes until 5:50 PM; then 6:20 and every hour until 10:20 PM. Car left Wabash on return trip 19 minutes later.

      Local rail service in Redlands was evidently a losing proposition as far back as 1910:
"One wishes that the SBVT could furnish Redlands with better cars...It must be borne in mind, however, that the Redlands service does not pay the company...All things considered, Redlands enjoys excellent trolley service...."
From the Redlands "Review" for 15 January 1911.
      Patrons of the Smiley Heights, Country Club and Olive Ave. lines got a pleasant surprise on June 30, 1911. With no advance announcement, the first red PE cars--114 and 115---appeared in Redlands and entered service at once; with them was a large SBVT car which also began running in Redlands local service. On July 1, 1911, the Redlands "Review" enthusiastically welcomed the "big" red cars: "PE cars in use here! To take the place of the dinky little cars that have been targets for much criticism! The three old timers that have been in used for many years (PE 80-82) have been relegated to the shed, where it is hoped they will be allowed to give up the ghost peacefully."
      PE's car house in Redlands was located on E Citrus near Church Street. It was a rather large building and contained substation No. 26. This structure was erected by the RC and was that company's combined car house, substation and shops, with some office space as well. PE rebuilt the car house in 1922.
      The Citrus Avenue Line served not only Sylvan Park and Redlands University, but at Church Street it passed the Redlands High School. The high school was built in 1910 and building material was delivered direct to the site via SBVT flat cars and a special spur track into the grounds.
      An electric railway from Redlands into the Yucaipa Valley via Yucaipa, Oak Glen and Beaumont to San Jacinto was started in 1908; it completed a mile of track on Church Street, then "stopped for the winter." Paul Shoup (head of PE) traversed the proposed route in 1911 but evidently decided against the ambitious project for the time being. In September, 1917 PE again showed interest in building as far as Yucaipa and made a survey of the route in March 1918; in June of that year PE announced it would build a Yucaipa "as soon as possible." Then World War I and autos intervened.
      Four Birneys of the 350 Class took over all local service in Redlands in 1918; from then until final abandonment in 1936, Redlands had nothing but these "cootie cars". The monotony was relieved, of course, by the big 1200s in through service to Los Angeles, the suburban cars (400s and 600s) to San Bernardino and Riverside, the periodic visits of the Orange Empire car, usually 1028, plus assorted box motors and electric locomotives.
      The Triangle, formed in the heart of Redlands' business district by Orange and Cajon Streets. and Citrus Avenue, was always the main transfer point. A shelter was erected in the tiny park for the comfort of waiting passengers.
      SBVT contracted with the Salt Lake Line to handle that railroad's express matter (American Express Company) between Colton-San Bernardino and Redlands. Express packages were carried on regular cars and loaded and unloaded at the Triangle. By the end of 1911, so many complaints had been received that SBVT-PE was ordered to load and unload express at its car house, and to place a 1300 Class combo car on those runs which handled much express.

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