People rode the “Red Cars” in great numbers. It was faster than a horse and buggy, or a bicycle, or horseback. On the first day of operation on the Long Beach Line, which was July 4, 1902, it was a hot day in Los Angeles. So people flocked to the “Red Cars” to take them to Long Beach where they could catch an ocean breeze. Over 40,000 passengers were carried that day.
So let us dig into the Southern District’s operation, and learn when the lines were built, where they went, etc. It is all laid out for you in word and picture.
Henry Huntington’s impact on the public transportation system of Southern California was far reaching. His Pacific Electric red interurban cars went everywhere — except for the western portions of Los Angeles County, where Sherman and Clark’s 180-mile Los Angeles Pacific Railroad dominated. As of March 19, 1906, an agreement was reached to purchase the system for $6 million, securing a controlling interest in the LAPR on behalf of the Southern Pacific.
Pacific Electric Railway Volume 4: Western District includes coverage of the entire merged system.
PERHYS Monograph No. 2: John L. Whitmeyer, “Remembrances of the Pacific Electric Railway” features nearly 100 images, illustrations and artifacts plus the transcribed memories of beloved Pacific Electric railfan and historian Jack Whitmeyer.