Feature Article:   Editor: LRV


TIMEPOINTS                  VOL 6 NO 6 (Pg. 1 & 2 of 6)            JUNE, 1953


“Tales of a Receiving Cashier”

By L.R. Veysey


Being a receiving cashier for the Pacific Electric Railway has both its pleasant and its difficult moments.  True, as when one is on the turnstiles or at the front ticket window;  the handling of several thousand dollars in small change every day poses its own kind of problems.

In the first place, there are many accounts that must constantly be kept: the signing and verifying of the trip sheet forms turned in by operators; the daily total sheet; the adding machine tape; the transfer issuance records.  The cashier is given half an hour after closing his window each day for completing these forms and getting his money in final shape and into the safe.  During one’s first weeks on the job, with luck, the red tape can be done in one full hour.  These hours at day’s end are filled with temporary anguish; your figures show you to be $150 over or short, and you know you’ve made some foolish error either in counting the money or in adding the totals. There are piles of loose tokens to be computed as to cash value.  (Thank heavens we were not faced with the three for forty cents token rate!)  Your fingers end up filthy from handling coin; your palms are smudged with ink from rubber stamping the endless rolls.  (The stamping insures that if the rolls contain less money than they should, they can be traced back to the casher, who is then forced to make good.)  But enough of the dreary routine....

There are three locations for cash receiving at the Subway Terminal.  One is in the rear on the ground floor level, and serves motor coach lines principally although the rail operators are forced to walk up to it during evening hours.  The second is at the front ticket office out in the public waiting room.  It is open only during early morning hours, except Sunday, when it serves the entire terminus until 4pm.   The hectic task of aiding both motorman and patrons during these periods has been described in our article on ticket selling.

It is the third location, down on a level with trains between tracks two and three, that is by far the pleasantest for the railfan. Although we worked regularly at all three locations during some portion of the week last summer, our happiest memories are all concentrated underground.  It was there that we would spend the better part

of each Monday afternoon.  The job in which we served as relief was a rather complicated one: we began by relieving the morning cashier at the lower level for lunch, between noon and 1pm.; then we went upstairs to relieve the cashier there from 1 to 2.  Our own lunch period followed; from 3:30 to 7pm. we returned to the downstairs location for the long stretch.  The day concluded by relieving the upstairs window a second time for dinner

Quite often as we trudged downstairs with cash box in hand we would greet our old friend Cookie, conductor on the Santa Monica Air Line franchise, filling in his midday hours by directing people to Santa Monica Blvd. cars.  After we were settled in the booth, Cookie ( signing his name properly as L.E. Koch) would make

his Air Line turn-in to us, usually comprising a grand total of 75 cents or some such sum ( in contrast to typical turns-ins of $30-$60.  We would glance with interest as the trip sheet for the day previous, with its total of Air Line passengers (it was always the Saturday turn-in, especially light).  Typically it would consist of about two fare-paying and one pass-holding riders.  Thus began our day.

“Business” at the downstairs location was almost invariably slow.  We managed to read several rather long books during the summer.  And then, inevitably, would come the occasional rushes of trainmen turning in, hastily fishing for their coins before leaving on another Valley run.  And then, sometimes, in the late afternoon, another and rather different figure, that of SC-ERA Secretary Lazear Israel, would appear, come to chat awhile and spend the time of day.

Lazear wasn’t the only SC-ERA member who favored us with his presence.  There was the famous occasion when SC-ERA PE Hollywood motorman Robert Loewing came dashing in to pick up a particular form of transfers for his next run.  We made the fatal mistake of providing him with a healthy supply of another, quite different form printed in exactly the same color.  A few hours later we received a second and somewhat less pleasant visit from Mr. Loewing, the details of which we leave to the reader to fill in.

Thus the days of cash receiving for Pacific Electric Railway Company passed.  Soon the summer had vanished and we were suddenly once more in Connecticut Company territory, deprived of the sight and sound of the Big Red Cars.  But the mid-year months of 1952 have always remained a part of us, and in spite of the minor crises we think back fondly of the brief period when SC-ERA infiltrated into the clerical staff at Subway Terminal.




TIMEPOINTS                   VOL 6 NO 6 (Pg. 2)                   JUNE, 1953


ACCORDING TO THIS......By Norman K. Johnson, Staff Columnist


Many will probably recall the fare hearings held in Los Angeles a little more than a year ago at which time both LATL and PE tried in vain to charge for transfers and to eliminate tokens.  The results of that hearing, as concern fares, are now history.  But you might have been interested in the wealth of information concerning all phases of company operation which was presented in an effort to obtain those fare changes.

To reprint all of it here, even for one of the companies would require a couple of hundred pages.  But of especial interest is the bit about types of equipment owned and operated by LATL.  All figures are corrected to May 13, 1952.    



Class                        Seats                     Owned

BG                             44                           20*

F                                52                           16*

H4                             48                            35*

H3                             48                            35

BF                             44                            41

H4                             48                          180

K4                             48                            60

L                               56                             1a

M                              55                             2b

P1, P2                       61                          125c

P3                             58                            40c

*-Two-man.    a-Experimental car 2501.   b. Experimental cars 2601-2.  c-PCC cars.




Line/      Numbers of Cars by Type                / Total

F                  15-H3; 12-H4                                27

J                   53-P1, P2                                      53

P                  32-P1, P2; 40-P3                           72

R                  40-P1, P2                                      40

S                  45-H4                                            45

V                  35-H4 (Two-Man)                        35

W               14-H4; 22-K4                                  36

5                 20-H3; 34-H4. 16-K4                      70

7                 15-H4; 22-K4                                  37

8                 25-H4                                              25

9                 29-H4                                              29



Type        No.         Division

BF            32             1

F              15              1

H4             6              1

L               1               1

M              2               2

BF             9               3

BG           20              3

F                1              S. Park


That concludes LATL’s breakdown of rail equipment as of 1952.  It must be kept in mind that this list is now outdated.


NEWS SECTION: Various Contributors


TIMEPOINTS                 VOL 6 NO 6 (Pg. 3 & 4 of 6)             June, 1953




On July 8, 1953, the Los Angeles Board of Public Utilities and Transportation announced 26 conditions to approval of the sale of Pacific Electric passenger service to Jesse L. Haugh.  Haugh reportedly has agreed to them all.  One of the conditions is that approval of the sale does not necessarily constituted agreement to abandon any rail service; another is that Metropolitan trains must have the right-of-way over PE freight trains where both use the same tracks.  A third states that Metro busses must be of recent design, with devices to reduce noise and fumes.

Action must still be taken by the Los Angeles City Council, the Public Utilities Commission of California,  and the Interstate Commerce Commission on the sale.  PUC hearings on the subject were concluded in June.

Meanwhile, the labor unions involved in the separation have been attempting to  pin Haugh down as to a concrete agreement.  Haugh has proposed one unified seniority district to cover his entire system.  At the same time, he as reportedly failed to put any of his optimistic promises to the workingmen into writing.

It is apparent that considerable further delay will be experienced before the Haugh sale becomes official.



                           “P” LINE TRACK RECONSTRUCTION WORK

As far as LATL is concerned, the first stage in the reconstruction and widening of East First Street between Main and San Pedro Streets was completed when the new westbound track was placed in service on Friday, June 19.  Removal of the old westbound track was completed during the following week, after which construction of the new eastbound track began.  Contrary to early indications, the double-track curve at the northwest corner of First and Main is being restored.  These changes are being accomplished without interruption to service.




PE PCC 5022, inbound to Los Angeles on July 11, had to wait about four minutes at Senorita for its meet.  The remainder of the trip was not especially fast.  At Toluca the car was four minutes hot!



                                   PE  CARS  GO  TO  PORTLAND


                         (Data from Joel Duroe, Ernest Haase and Ray Ballash)

As indicated by a flash item in the April Timepoints, the sale of several of Pacific Electric’s 5050-class cars to Portland Traction Company, first rumored at least two years ago, has finally been completed.

It was reported that the original deal fell through when Pacific electric asked a price far higher than Portland was willing to pay.  Following an unsuccessful attempt by Portland Traction to abandon its last remaining rail passenger operations, the lines from Portland to Bellrose and Oregon City, negotiations were opened and the sale consummated.

Eight cars were sold.  According to Pacific Electric, these cars, now PTC 4015-4022, were formerly PE 5174-5181.  This is absolutely correct, but PE neglects to state exactly when the cars assumed these numbers.  The cars now in Portland were not the original 5174-5181, ex-724-731!  For any of several possible reasons, the cars destined for Portland traded numbers with these cars!  Indeed, all available evidence, including inspection of several of the cars while whey were at Torrance indicates that the new PE numbers were never actually stenciled on the Portland cars.  It has been definitely established, however, that this re-numbering did take place, as far as Pacific Electric’s official equipment records are concerned. 

The re-numbering data which follows is the most accurate available at this time.

It is hoped, however, that this information might some day be verified by a check of the original numbers stamped on the windows of the 16 cars involved.

                                         Cars now in Portland

Original P.E.       P.E. Number               P.E. Number:         Portland Traction

  Number             (1949-50)                        1953                     Number


    675                      5074                           5177                        4015

    677                      5072                           5176                        4016

    650                      5099                           5181                        4017

    691                      5058                           5174                        4018

    674                      5075                           5178                        4019

    671                      5078                           5180                        4020 

    673                      5076                           5179                        4021

    680                      5069                           5175                        4022


                Cars now in storage on PE with changed numbers

 Original Number                     1949-50 Number                     1953 Number

    775                                              5174                                       5058

    725                                              5175                                       5069

    726                                              5176                                       5072

    727                                              5177                                       5074

    728                                              5178                                       5075

    729                                              5179                                       5076

    730                                              5180                                       5078

    731                                              5181                                       5099

The Portland cars were all repainted at Torrance prior to shipment.  The first car shipped, 4015, left May 9th.  All eight cars are now in service in Portland, following an initial delay when it was discovered that the wheel flanges were  too deep for trackage in Portland streets.  The old wooden interurban cars of the system up north are beginning to be scrapped.

If the PE 5050s are clumsy as one-man cars with one end door and two center doors, consider their position in Portland.  For the center doors are not being used; instead seats have been placed across them.  All patrons enter and alight by the one front door.  But this is still no worse than the everyday operating procedure on PE’s busses. 



                         WEST  HOLLYWOOD  LINE  OF  PE  GOES  BUS

May 29 was the last full day of rail operation for the Santa Monica Blvd.-West Hollywood line of the Pacific Electric.  On May 30, a holiday, shuttle cars ran only between Hollywood and Highland and West Hollywood, as per the terms of the night and Sunday schedule.  On May 31 complete abandonment came, as the Hill Street-Sunset Blvd. bus was rerouted and extended to care for the patrons.  PE had given only 12 days’ notice of this abandonment.  Hollywood Blvd. cars now use tracks 3 and 4 at Subway Terminal, the former Santa Monica Blvd. tracks.  Track 5 has been closed.  In this way PE assures its patrons of the longest walk possible up the ramps to the street.



                                   PACIFIC  ELECTRIC  CAR  SCRAPPINGS

                                                              By Joel Duroe

Pacific Electric cars scrapped during the past spring include steel interurban units 496, 400, 497, and 421; electric locomotive 1648.  Interurban cars 430 and 458, involved in a rear-end collision

on the four-track main line, are not being returned to service.  Instead, the 430 has already been scrapped and the 458 was in the process of being scrapped early in July.

Famous electric locomotive 1544, “Electra” which hauled debris trains in San Francisco following the 1906 earthquake, has been donated by PE to Travel Town in Griffith Park, where it joins box motor 1498.



                               ANGEL’S  FLIGHT  FARE  INCREASE  REQUEST

                                                     By Norman K. Johnson

For this first time in 51 years, owners of the historic Angel’s Flight Railway at Third and Hill Streets have applied to the Public Utilities Commission for a rate increase.

President L.B. Moreland, whose syndicate bought the 335-foot cable line in 1952, said it lost

$969.49 in the first four months of this year.  He asked to eliminate the 15 rides for 25 cents and 50 rides for 50 cents.  Instead, he would substitute a ticket book of 25 rides for 50 cents.  Cash fares would remain at two rides for 5 cents.



                                 HOLLYWOOD  BLVD.  SCHEDULE  CHANGE

On June 1, 1953, effective with the conversion of the Santa Monica Blvd.-West Hollywood rail line of the Pacific Electric to busses, important schedule revisions were made on the Hollywood Blvd.-Beverly Hills rail line.  With only two lines using the subway, more train movements are feasible; and two-car train operation has come to an end on the Hollywood Line.  (Two and three-car trains continue to serve Glendale patrons.)  Rush hour headway in the eveing has been reduced to four minute, with alternate cars ending at West Hollwood rather than at Gardner Street.  Through service to Beverly Hills continues to be provided every twenty minutes during midday hours, every eight minutes at evening peak.


 TIMEPOINTS                VOL 6 NO 6 (Pgs. 5 & 6 of 6)         JUNE, 1953




By Robert L. Abrams


Birmingham streetcars, ceased on April 19, leaving only New Orleans in the deep South with electric railway service.

Hagerstown and Frederick will continue to operate trolley passenger service between Fredrick and Thurmont, Maryland.  Earlier the company had sought to go diesel freight, but this was contingent upon abandonment of the connecting Western Maryland passenger service.  Western Maryland was forced by regulatory bodies to continue the latter; hence H&F will run on into the indefinite future as well.

Pittsburgh Railways has all but finished the talks of chopping its interurban lines.  On May 16 the East-West and North Washington local lines in Washington, Pennsylvania, met the axe, as did the Donora shuttle, which has always connected with the Charleroi interurban line at Monongahela.  On June 13 the Jefferson-Maiden local route quit, the last of the Washington system.  June 27 brought an end to the Charleroi interurban line itself.  The portion from Pittsburgh to Library is being retained as far as a new loop in Simmons, called #35-Library.  In July the Pittsburgh-Washington interurban will go, completing the withdrawal.  It is to be retained as Drake as #36.

In Pittsburgh itself, the last double-end car lines are in the process of bowing out.

June 21 saw #32-P&LE Transfer converted to bus operation; #12-Evergreen and #63-Corey Ave. will soon follow.  Only 75 old cars now remain in service on PRys to supplement PCCs in Monday through Friday morning and evening rush hours.

(For the Editor’s report on his day in Pittsburgh last June, see the forthcoming July issue.)

June was a bad month for trolleys elsewhere in Pennsylvania. On June 8th Lehigh Valley Transit Company finally went all-bus, with the conversion of its last two rail lines: Allentown-Bethlehem and Fairview-Fullerton.  May 11 had  seen the end of the Catasauqua-Northampton route.  By June 12 the remaining 27 cars had all been sent to Bethlehem Steel.

Then on June 21, Scranton Transit Company abandoned Nay Aug and Petersburg.  This leaves only one line there (Green Ridge Suburban) and the end is not far off.  Actually there are only three cars used in Scranton now (one on Sundays).

Altoona trolleys began a two-week vacation on July 4, while the PRR shops were on vacation.  There is no need at all for streetcars if the shops are closed.  For the Juniata line the vacation is permanent.  When trolley service resumes on July 20 this line will end at the PRR shops.

In Philadelphia, lines 11, 13 and 34 and 37 were rerouted June 28 over newly constructed Locust Street trackage to permit the building of the extension for the trolley subway.  Line 18, soon to be abandoned without replacement, is temporarily still in existence awaiting  PUC approval.  The 18 line has no independent running from other lines except one curve at one intersection.



                       REVISIONS  TO  LIST  OF  EXCURSIONS


In the may Timepoints there appeared a list of all railfan excursions held in Southern

California since World War II.  This list was compiled in New Haven, where full information was not available in many instances.  For this reason a number of errors crept into the account, which we wish at this point to correct.

The list should be revised as follows:

ADD: January 11, 1948, BAER, PE Southern District, cars 1051-1028

          May 9, 1948: Change sponsor to Railroad Boosters

ADD: October 17, 1948: Railroad Boosters, PE Southern District, car 498

ADD: January 9, 1949: Railroad Boosters, PE Western and Northern District, car 999

CANCEL:  January 11, 1949, as given.  March 27, 1949: Change to car 528.

CANCEL: January, 1950 as given.

CHANGE: June 28, 1951 trip to June 2, 1951.

The following excursions have been run since the May issue was composed:

                  April 19, 1953: SC-ERA   Equipment Committee, LATL, car 1160.

                  May 3, 1953:    SC-ERA TRIP #10, PE Southern District, car 5128

                  June 28, 1953:  SC-ERA TRIP #11, LATL, car 2601

Scheduled for July 26, 1953: Pacific Railroad Society, PE Western and Southern District, 5050 and Blimp.                




Eight PE box motors have been spotted during the latter part of June in storage on a siding at Indio. All are wooden bodied; they include the 1413 and other scattered representatives of the 1400 class.  Their future role with the Southern Pacific Company has not been ascertained.



                            PE  INTERURBAN  FARE  INCREASE

Effective April 27, a previous emergency fare increase of 5 cents per ride on most PE interurban rail and motor coach lines were extended to include those few bus routes that had not originally been effected.  The raise, in its totality is expected to realize $1,000.000 in additional revenue per year, leaving PE operating only $500,000 per year in the red.



                                      BAD  ACCIDENT  ON  LATL

PCC car 3098 was badly damaged on Sunday, June 7, when it was struck head on by a truck at Whittier Blvd. and Camulos Street.  The operator of 3098 was killed.

The car is being held at South Park pending an investigation of the accident, following which it will probably be repaired.



                           N.R.H.S.  PAYS  FOR  BIRNEY  IN  FULL

Fort Collins Birney car #26, bid on by the Midwest Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, was paid for in full during the week of June 15.  Two small equipment pledges by SC-ERA members were also paid during the last week in June.  These amounts have all aided the position of the SC-ERA treasury, so that it will soon be possible to complete purchase of LATL 1160.




Los Angeles Transit Lines and Pacific Electric Railway have jointly petitioned for a new increase in Los Angeles local fares.  They seek to eliminate tokens, a feature of the last such petition which was refused by the Commission, and to raise the price of school tickets.  The companies not longer appear interested in making a charge for transfers.




On July 1 Pacific Electric revealed that in recent months it has been operating in the black.  It recorded a net income of $257,252 in May, 1953, as compared with a $43,162 deficit in the corresponding month of 1952.  For the firs five months of 1953 net income was $375,660, while during that period of 1952 the deficit totaled $420,230.  Operating revenues for the 1953 period totaled $13,270,076, as against $12,750,706 in the first five months of the preceding year.

It must be remembered that the above figures combine both freight and passenger  operations.  Thus they do not indicate that Haugh will take over a solvent passenger business.



                           KEY  SYSTEM  A  AND B  LINES  TO  MEET  FATE

Hearings will soon be held on the petition of Key System Transit Lines to abandon rail service on its A and B bridge railway lines.  The California Toll Bridge Authority has announced its opposition to the change.  It is believe that the results of these hearings will be conclusive as to the long range fate of all of Key’s five remaining rail lines.

Other news notes from Northern California:

BAERA 1005 and 751, involved in the April 12 fiasco, are now being stored at the Western Pacific shops in Sacramento, where they will be repaired.

No progress has been reported on the SN’s big project of rebuilding its Lisbon trestle.  It is not   known whether the new trestle will be electrified.

A weekend visit to San Francisco by the Editor revealed the large number of non-PCC cars still in base service on Muni streetcar lines.  The five Magic Carpet cars were not in service on Line L.

Where might they be?

BAERA reportedly operated an excursion on Portland Traction Company on July 11, featuring ex-PE 5050s, car 897, and, if still available, an old wooden car.




Pacific Electric has once again applied to abandon the daily passenger round trip on its Santa Monica Air Line, now generally considered to be the most interesting remaining PE ride.  An “Air Line Car Riders’ Association” has reputedly been activated to fight this latest of the many threats to the existence of the service there.  The move comes twenty years after Pacific Electric first sought to rid itself of the task of carrying Air Line patrons.