The Lakewood Industrial Lead

Los Angeles to Long Beach and Terminal Island, CA

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.

This view shows a wye on the Lakewood Industrial Lead, which was...
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.

—  User Comments  —

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

freebrickproductions
Huntsville, AL
4/14/2014

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
4/19/2014

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
4/22/2014

Until 1873 or so, I believe there was a line from what is today the Douglas Junction that branched off to the south-east, ultimately ending at Alamitos Bay. It appears to have been part of what was called the "Los Angeles and Ocean Railway. Does anyone have a map showing the line that they could share? Thanks!

Stefan
Long Beach, CA
3/23/2019

Stefan. All of the maps I've accessed show this line (LA and Salt Lake RR) continuing south and then crossing Cherry Ave going southwest to the area of Spring St and California. From there is goes south eventually meeting Alamitos Ave. It turns west at Ocean Blvd and continues to what is now Terminal Island. This was abandoned in the 1930's when the new line was completed bypassing the downtown area completely. The rail line that went by Alamitos Bay was the Pacific Electric Newport Line.

Steven Moritz
Long beach, CA
3/23/2019

Steve, Thanks for the quick response. I have a map to share with you then. It isn't great, more than a sketch, but less than a topo. Please see: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FMIB_34261_Map_of_Alamitos_Bay_Cal.jpeg

Best!

Stefan
Long Beach, CA
3/24/2019

This is very interesting and obviously predates any of the 20th century maps I've seen. The Long Beach Main Library has a collection of maps (some from the 1800's) that I will check out. A rail line near the bay is new to me. I can't imagine why any railroad would have laid tracks in that area; there was not much down there. (wetlands, etc) Thanks, good work Stefan.

Steven Moritz
Long Beach, CA
3/25/2019

Steve, Thanks for the compliment about the map. I had heard of the line, but no one really seemed to know anything about it. As best I can determine: Alamitos Bay was in the running as a commercial port for the City of Long Beach in the late 1880's. It had potential - the Alamitos Bay / Anaheim Landing estuaries are huge. However, when Los Angeles annexed San Pedro to build the Port of Los Angeles, Long Beach realized there was more opportunity on the West Side. T

Stefan
Long Beach, CA
4/5/2019