Altadena to South Pasadena

The Los Angeles Terminal Railway

Picture Point of Interest

Map submitted by Andrew Laverdiere.

GOOGLE MAPS no longer available: With apologies, I am unable to continue showing Google Maps. Google has forced my hand by increasing their map usage fee from nothing/free to OVER $300 A MONTH for the Abandoned Rails website! This is an expense that I simply cannot afford. Rest assured I am looking at available open source alternatives, so maps should be back online soon!

Greg Harrison

Showing of

Alberta Street, looking south. Photo by Andrew Laverdiere.

This railway was built in 1888 and ran from downtown Pasadena to where the post office in Altadena on North Lake Avenue is today. Later, it was renamed to the Los Angeles Terminal Railway.

The line was then purchased by the Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad as part of extending their line south from Salt Lake City, UT, into Los Angeles. Union Pacific was the last to operate the line.

Abandoned in 1921, the map of it above was drawn from a USGS topographical map from 1924.

Thanks to Andrew Laverdiere for contributing information about this route.

I think this route is connected to UP's Pasadena Branch

Cupertino, CA


The Pasadena Branch was cut back to a lumber yard in Altadena, probably in the 1920's. In 1968, I was invited to ride the caboose of the Pasadena-Glendale local from Orban Lumber (just south of Colorado Blvd) to Altadena (probably to Lincoln Ave. Lumber). At Lincoln Ave., the crossing diamonds for the PE streetcar line were still visible, even though the last Birney ran there in 1941. After the ride, I followed the train to Highland Park, where the UP crossed the Santa Fe 2nd District, and saw one of the crewmen swing the "smashboard" to allow their move. By 1970, the UP branch was history, taken out for the 210 Freeway. One relic of UP days is back in service--the bridge over the Pasadena Freeway/Arroyo Seco Parkway now carries the southbound track of the Gold Line light rail, seeing more trains in a day than it used to have in a year.

Bob Davis
San Gabriel, CA


The comment from "Jonathan"seems to suggest that the old Union Pacific to Pasadena crossed the arroyo on the present Gold line bridge. Actually it crossed on the York Blvd bridge along with auto traffic.

jeff arnett


Thank you for this post. It's very clear and informative, together with Wikipedia link. I live near the right of way and have often looked for signs of it. Some of the property lines between Raymond and Mountain Junction are suspiciously aligned with the approximate route.

Eric Mulfinger
Altadena, CA


The Gold Line runs on the old AT&SF right-of-way. The bridge over the Arroyo is a newly constructed reproduction of the old bridge - it was fascinating to watch the destruction/rebuilding!

Eagle Rock, CA


The most complete description of the LATR that I have found is at Like many other railways the lineage is complex. A more complete map can be found on a 1902 version USGS map. The rail ran to Terminal Island as well as another branch to Verdugo Park.

Chuck Jones
San Juan Capistrano, CA


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Tomlob, MN


Jeff talks about the old UP tracks on the York Bl bridge. I'm old enough to remember the tracks, though they were long out of use by that time. They got paved over some years ago - not removed - and the pavement has suffered over the years. When first buried the roadway was just fine, but now the rails are making themselves apparent again, and anyone who routinely comes west over the bridge from South Pasadena knows to avoid the right lane.

Eagle Rock, CA


Shortened Link:

Do you have any pictures or information about The Los Angeles Terminal Railway? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.