Whittier, California (Part I)

The Anaheim Branch

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This is the site of Whittier Junction; this view faces east (uphill). The former line to Whittier (and Fullerton) branched off to the right; note the ties still in place, disappearing into the brush. In June, 2003, a runaway cut of cars rolled from Montclair to Commerce, passing through this location. Photo by Mike Palmer, 2003.

This branch was originally constructed around 1917 by the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, and once was Union Pacific's entry into the citrus-growing region of Orange County. The line passed through what are now residential areas and light industrial/shopping areas. At one point the line extended as far east/south as Anaheim, but it was cut back over the years.

East of Whittier, the UP branch paralleled a Pacific Electric branch between Colima Junction and Fullerton Junction. In 1962, the UP added a connection to the PE line and abandoned its route. At the same time, the PE gained the right to use the somewhat-parallel UP between Fullerton Junction and Fullerton, and the PE abandoned that segment of its line. The UP segment between Whittier Junction and Colima Junction was abandoned a few years after the UP-SP merger in 1995, as UP trains now use the former PE line to reach the last remaining segment of UP track at Fullerton Junction.

The right-of-way is easily located and is used as an informal path. However, the Whittier Police Department has posted "No Trespassing" signs along much of the right of way, likely at the request of the homeowners who live by the old grade.

See also The Whittier Branch.

The Whittier Line that you see here is a part of the Whittier Greenbelt. The Greenbelt was completed in 2007 or 2008 as a walkway, or bikeway for citizens who care to use it for exercise and recreation. The highlight of the route is the crossing at 5 points, where the original trestles were used. The line starts on the Northwest area of Whittier, near Palm Park, and ends east of Mills Avenue. I think the Eastern terminus of the Greenbelt is near the Colima Junction, where the former UP/PE lines separated.

Rodney Slater
East Whittier, CA
5/25/2009

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The smaller bridge over Pickering was demolished during the Greenway construction. It was replaced with longer span, lighter bridge, eliminating the center support and arched pedestrian tunnels on either side. The big through truss bridge over Whittier Blvd was saved. However as of now is in desparate need of paint.

Martin Batistelli
Hacienda Heights, CA
4/17/2010

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I forgot to mention that the arrowhead logo cast into the concrete seen in photo 3 was duplicated in the new bridge abutment.

Martin Batistelli
Hacienda Heights, CA
4/17/2010

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anybody know the name of the line in west whittier/pico rivera that cross over the 605 freeway(the infamous "graffiti bridge")? when was it last in use and where did go?

m.c.
el monte, CA
12/20/2015

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