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The Hollywood Branch

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Lumber yard spur at the end of the line, as seen on 11-21-2009. This remnant is the "last one left" on this part of the line; it was featured on a tour chartered by the Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation. Photo by Mike Palmer, November 2009.

This was a former PE line; PE was absorbed into the SP in 1965. It survived long after passenger service ended in the 1950s because of some online freight shippers, mostly lumber yards and produce warehouses.

The entire abandoned segment ran in the median of Santa Monica Blvd., although there were several spurs that led to loading docks on either side of the street. The right-of-way was in a dirt median as far east as Croft Street. From that point further east, the rail were in pavement. According to the Pacific Railroad Society's Wheel Clicks newsletter, dated August 1973, the track extended as far east as Seward Street, which is where a lumber yard is located. (The segment beyond Seward Street had been abandoned in 1953.) Local freights ran at night, to minimize interference with cars and trucks on the street.

Thanks to Mike Palmer for contributing information about this route.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD
Docket Number: 26997 Date: 1/11/1972 Section: 1(18)
Application for authority to abandon the end portion of its Hollywood Branch from the jct. of La Cienega and Santa Monica Boulevards, M.P. 502.84, and the end of the branch at M.P. 505.33, near Hollywood, a distance of 2.49 miles., together with all sidings, spur tracks and appurtenances, all within Los Angeles County, Calif.
Length: 2.49 miles Citation:  

The segment at the east end of this branch that ran in the City of Los Angeles became the last part of PE's Western District with electric operation. The city refused to permit diesel locomotives, possibly because the franchise permitted only electric motive power, to prevent steam locomotives from running in Hollywood. So PE, which had scrapped most of its freight motors and depended on leased SP diesels everywhere else, kept 1622 and 1624 in service out of the West Hollywood yard. LA finally allowed diesels on the line when PE agreed to install exhaust mufflers and interurban-style air whistles on some of its switchers. Although 1622 was scrapped, 1624 survived long enough to be rescued from the torch and wound up at Orange Empire Trolley Museum, where it is kept in running condition to this day. The other end of the line, which connected with the Santa Monica Air Line, was at Home Junction, where the street location of Pico and Sepulveda was made famous by the Dr. Demento radio show.

Bob Davis
San Gabriel, CA
1/10/2013

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