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San Pedro - December 2000

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San Pedro — Trolley Progress

Rail Transit Online, December 2000

Work on the 1.5-mile heritage trolley line in the San Pedro area of Los Angeles, modeled after the long defunct Pacific Electric, is moving forward at a rapid pace.  John Smatlak of Railway Preservation Resources has compiled an update on the project’s current status.


“The first of four high-platform stations is nearing completion, all line poles for the 600-volt direct-suspension overhead have been installed and the bracket arms are now being attached.  Wire and other materials are on site, and the substation is being assembled by the contractor for delivery in mid-December.  The single-track line is located on private right-of-way parallel to Harbor Boulevard along the San Pedro waterfront.  It runs from the World Cruise Center to 22nd and Miner Streets, with intermediate stops at Harbor Boulevard/6th Street and at Ports O'Call Village, a tourist-oriented reproduction of a quaint seaport.  The trolley will use an existing freight right-of-way, where a mid-line passing siding between 5th and 6th streets has been added.  Tie and rail replacement has been completed and tamping was scheduled to be finished the week of Nov. 20.  The line will be served by three cars, two replica PE 500-class suburban cars being built by Historic Railway Restoration in Seattle, Washington, and a restored Pacific Electric 1000-class interurban car, which is being rebuilt in San Pedro.  Truck refurbishment work continues on the replicas, the new wheelsets are on order, the traction motor rebuilds are progressing, and most component refurbishment work has been completed. The Goodman control systems are on hand and the air brake system parts are arriving from Wabco and other vendors. Production of the seats and other wooden interior components is also progressing rapidly. 

“The carbodies themselves are now taking form.  In mid-November, the wood framing members of number 1 were being installed on a completed steel subframe, the plymetal floor had been installed, and preparations were underway for installation of the wood siding and the roof.  On number 2, fabrication of the steel subframe was due to be completed the week of Nov. 20.  Delivery is scheduled in early 2001.  The interurban, No. 1058, was Richard Fellow’s famous rubber-tired Red Car, restored for parade and movie use in the 1960s. It is being converted back into an operating vehicle, and will serve as a back-up and special charter car.  Because the body and interior were already in excellent condition when acquired, work has centered on removing all of the automotive elements and installing trucks, motors, controls and other rail-related components.  A pair of Japanese interurban trucks was acquired in good condition from the Seashore Trolley Museum.  By mid-November, refurbishment has been completed on the first truck, including traction motors and new wheelsets, and the truck installed under the car.  Work is now underway on the second truck. The Goodman control systems are on hand, and the air brake system parts have begun arriving from Wabco and other vendors. Installation of these systems will begin shortly. Work is also underway on a new set of seats for the car.  The line is scheduled to begin public operation in early 2001.”


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