The Lakewood Industrial Lead

Los Angeles to Long Beach and Terminal Island, California

This view shows a wye on the Lakewood Industrial Lead, which was approved for abandonment in late 2002/early 2003. The spur behind the camera served Douglas Aircraft (later McDonnell Douglas, and now Boeing). Photo by Mike Palmer, 2003.

This abandoned railway line was part of the original UP branch from Los Angeles to the ports in Long Beach and Terminal Island. In the early 1930s UP opened a line that diverged from the original track at Douglas Junction and bypassed the city of Long Beach, and a 2+ mile segment of the original route remained as the Lakewood Industrial Lead. (The tracks south of this segment ran mostly on city streets and were abandoned when the bypass opened). A separate spur served the Douglas Aircraft plant (hence the name Douglas Jct.) adjacent to the Long Beach Airport. The main stem of the branch was used as a team track. Covered hoppers were spotted at the end of the branch; auto rack cars were stored on sidings. The south end of this track has been approved for abandonment in late 2002/early 2003. It does not appear that any trains have used this segment in some time.

—  User Comments  —

Does anybody know where the picture was taken? I want to see if the signals are still standing.

Huntsville, AL

I took that picture. It faces west along Cover Street, just east of the now abandoned UP grade crossing. This is at the northwest property line of the Long Beach Municipal Airport. I have not been over there in many years so I don't know if the crossing signals remain.

Mike Palmer
Torrance, CA

Mike-It's all gone. The tracks now end just South of Carson St at a lumber transfer yard. There are usually 2 rail deliveries each week so the line is seeing some action. I live about 2 miles East and can hear the horns most days.

Steve Moritz
Long Beach, CA