The Riverside-Redlands Line was a through-routing of the two lines: San Bernardino-Redlands and San Bernardino-Riverside.
SAN BERNARDINO-REDLANDS LINE:
Route: From Pacific Electric Station, San Bernardino, via Third to "A" Street, then via private way crossing Second, Mill Street, Tippecanoe, La Quinta, Crown Jewel to San Bernardino Avenue, thence east on San Bernardino Avenue to Orange Street, and south on Orange Street to Citrus Avenue.
History: Built by San Bernardino Valley Traction Company in 1902-1903 from city limits of Redlands to San Bernardino; opened on 3 March 1903. Cars operated into Redlands thru trackage right agreement with Redlands Street Railway. On 6 June 1903 these two companies merged. Huntington obtained control of SBVT on 10 June 1907 and it became part of the PE system on 1 September. 1911. 1913 saw line rebuilt with 90 lb. rail.
SAN BERNARDINO-RIVERSIDE LINE:
Route: From PE Station, San Bernardino, via private way south past new PE shops, Mill Street, Urbita Springs, Central Park to Colton; there it crossed the SP main line and continued south through Vivienda, Grand Terrace, West Highgrove, Palmyrita to 1st & Colton Street in Riverside; then west on First and south on Main Street to 14th & Market.
History: Built from Riverside to county line in 1908, but unfinished due to fight between Huntington and Harriman until 1911; on 7 April 1911 cars began running from Riverside to the county line(near Highgrove). Early in 1913 PE began work from both ends: in San Bernardino the interurban to Colton paralleled the old SP track, going through Colton on 9th St. Another construction crew worked north from Highgrove. Service between Riverside and Colton was opened on Saturday, 4 October 1913, using cars 500-504. The installation of special work to cross the eight tracks of SP and UP at Colton delayed through service until 13 Dec 1913, when a celebration at the county line officially opened the line. On Sunday, 7 Jan 1914, SP discontinued its passenger trains between Colton and San Berdoo and Colton and Riverside, giving all business to Pacific Electric.
The through-routing of these two lines was inevitable and occurred by August, 1916. The combined lines had a mileage of 19.60 and this distance was covered in one hour by the 400 Class cars. This through-routing, however, was more for the operating convenience of PE than for the benefit of through passengers; old timetables reveal long waits at San Bernardino, some being as long as 24 minutes(1924). Many trips required transfers at San Bernardino, due to through cars from LA continuing to Redlands.
As of 1927: Service was given on about a 40 minutes headway at peak periods and hourly during midday. Seven crews of two men each were needed, two of which headquartered at Riverside and five at San Berdoo. One of these crews was assigned to handle the SP baggage connection at Colton from San Berdoo and Riverside. In addition there were seven crewmen working the main line to LA who continued on to Redlands and back. Four 400 Class cars were required, plus 1200s and baggage motors; one 400 was stored at Riverside and three at San Berdoo.
Best year was 1915, when 784,684 passengers were carried, requiring 340,658 car miles with $112,605 returned in revenue. By 1920 these figures were respectively: 569,291---275,521---$99,023. 1925: 473,414---327,654---$99,899.
In Riverside the line operated through town on the double-track Main St. Line, terminating at 14th St. On 20 July 1936, the line was re-routed to use Market St. to PE Station.
Unfortunately, the most direct way from Redlands to Riverside was by highway and competing bus lines took almost all through business. On a typical day in 1927, a traffic check showed but 22 through passengers riding PE cars! On 8 June 1927, another check revealed but 11 thru passengers from Redlands to LA and 3 from LA to Redlands.
As an experiment, the line was broken in two on 1 April 1928; a San Bernardino-Arlington line was established, also a San Bernardino-Redlands line. Apparently neither worked out as well as the through service, for the Riverside-Redlands line was re-established on 15 June 1928.
The busy SP crossing at Colton was protected by speed restrictions on SP and by conductor flagging on PE. The crossing as of 1927 consisted of seven tracks, each of which had to be flagged.
As of 1 February 1924, there were ten through trips daily; in addition there were ten trips which required transfer at San Bernardino.
As of 1 April 1935, there were five through trips from Riverside to Redlands, and four from Redlands to Riverside, in addition, there were 18 trips each way between San Bernardino and Riverside---and four from San Bernardino to Redlands, five from Redlands to San Bernardino.
As of 20 July 1936, there were four trips each way between San Bernardino and Riverside, plus a round trip from San Bernardino to Colton. No rail service to Redlands.
20 July 1936 was the fateful day for through service on this line. On that date, the line between Sunkist and Redlands was abandoned and all passenger service between San Bernardino and Redlands was turned over to the subsidiary Motor Transit Lines. San Bernardino-Riverside service continued on a greatly reduced basis until 1 February 1938 when it, too, was abandoned save for a franchise car which continued until 8 May 1939.
In August 1935 Fred Howarth jotted down the numbers of cars he observed in use at Redlands:|
This indicated that the 3 630s (636-638) were in process of being replaced by the 3 636 1304
The original route of the Redlands Line leaving San Bernardino was via E Street to Mill Street (Urbita), east on Mill Street to point of intersection with the Redlands Line. Much of this Mill Street line was built on swampy ground and a considerable part of the line was on piling. This line was 1.22 miles long, single track, and was built in 1903 and removed in 1918. Redlands cars quit Mill Street for Third Street prior to 1910. They were through-routed with E Street line to Urbita Springs until 1 May 1910; at that time their San Bernardino terminal became Third & D Streets.
As of 1935, the following rules were in effect: "Between trains operated by one man and those operating by two men when executing meets and clearing and passing trains, the one-man train must be permitted to hold main track. If track facilities do not permit holding of main track, switches, derails, and trolley on one-man car must be handled by train crew of other than one man train.
"In crossing the railroad at Market Junction, the South and North wye at Colton and in Redlands, stop not less than 15 feet from near rail, observe crossing from car, looking in both directions; if safe, proceed.
"Passenger trains will not exceed 35 mph and freight trains 20 mph between San Bernardino and Riverside between 9:00 AM and 6:30 PM; passenger trains will not exceed 35 mph and freight trains 20 mph between San Bernardino and Redlands.
"Train registers are located at Redlands, San Bernardino and Market Junction.
"Speed restrictions: 20 within Redlands, 5 around curve at San Bernardino Avenue & Orange Street, 15 around curve at La Quinta, 15 around Mill Street curve, 20 within San Bernardino except 15 on Third Street between PE Station and Allen Street and 5 over Second Street, 15 over grade crossing at Urbita, 12 over F Street in Colton, 20 in Colton, 20 over Iowa Avenue in West Highgrove, and 15 on 1st and Main Streets, Riverside."
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