El Segundo to Redondo Beach

The Redondo Beach Branch


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

Note: Thanks to Santa Fe Route to the Pacific by Philip Serpico (see www.omniRR.com).

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Santa Fe Redondo Beach branch facing north at 8th St. in Hermosa Beach, 1982. Note the 5 MPH speed limit and the warning sign to joggers and walkers ("Cars Have Right of Way. Please Use Crosswalks"). Photo by Mike Palmer, 1982.

This Santa Fe line was constructed in the late 1880s, and it was opened for business in 1888. The southern end of the track as initially constructed served three freight wharves in Redondo Beach. There was also a passenger station for beach-going passengers. Redondo Beach had some good years as a freight port but it didn't last, and by the 1920s freight from ships stopped entirely. (The ports at San Diego, Long Beach and Wilmington / San Pedro handled the freight traffic). Meanwhile, passenger trains had ended by 1918, as the Pacific Electric lines in the area handled the local passenger traffic. The line from El Segundo to Redondo Beach became even less important after another Santa Fe line was constructed in the 1920s from El Segundo to the Los Angeles Harbor at Wilmington. Meanwhile, in its last years, the Redondo Beach Branch extended as far south as Beryl Ave. in Redondo Beach, near a Southern California Edison plant. The Redondo Beach branch was abandoned between El Segundo and Redondo Beach in 1983, and the tracks were pulled up in 1986. The line passed through residential and light industrial areas, and the right of way had become a walking and jogging path years before it was abandoned. The line can be easily followed today, but most of it has been turned into a landscaped path that has lost much of its "railroad" flavor. Rail traces that can be found: a remnant of the Edison (now AES Power) freight spur is still in place in Redondo Beach, and the pavement markings for the Metlox Pottery spur grade crossing in Manhattan Beach are still in place. The "Manhattan Beach" station sign has been moved a couple miles east to Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach.

The cover of Sante Fe Route to the Pacific shows a train on this branch in Manhattan Beach.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

Docket Number: AB 52 Sub 18 Date: 6/7/1982 Section: 10903
Abandonment of a line of railroad known as the Redondo District of the Los Angeles Terminal Division, extending from railroad milepost 15.44 near the nonagency station of El Segundo to the end of line at railroad milepost 2.02 near the nonagency station of Redondo Beach, a distance of 4.58 miles. In Los Angeles County, state of California.
Length: 4.58 miles Citation:  

I have a question concerning about a supposed tunnel that the rail used to traverse over, anywhere near Sepulveda. My girlfriend has lived here her whole life and she mentioned there was an overpass that the rail used to go over (however, she was pretty certain it isn't the overpass where Sepulveda goes over the dirt walkway). She told me that she used to drive down to get to the fair, and there had always been a little tunnel she'd pass through, VERY near Sepulveda. The tunnel, she said, was kind of neglected. The only issue is, it had been a long time since she'd been in that tunnel, and what I THOUGHT she had meant was the Belamar overpass, but, she said that wasn't it. After looking on google maps (and then finding your this site that traces the old rail), she thought that maybe it had been torn down at some point that she wasn't aware of.

Do you recall any sort of overpass / tunnel that this might sound like? Of course, we looked at the area that Sepulveda passes over, and I DO suppose I could contact Manhattan Beach about painting those pylons, but, I was really interested in looking into this elusive tunnel my girlfreind remembers...

Greg G.
Manhattan Beach, CA


I am always interested in my local history, especially railways. I come from a railway family in York, UK, so my Dad was always keeping an eye out for all-things trains! I now live in Manhattan Beach and was wondering if you'd be interested in a few updates?

You can still see parts of the old line itself in the car park behind Fry's, just to the east of Sepulveda and South of Rosecrans. The rails and what look like points are still clearly visible.

Also, by accident, I found information regarding a further spur to the line which was actually used to service artillery guns in the Second World War on 18th street, just east of Valley/Ardmore. It's all findable through Google. There's actually a map of the railway spur (not a great one, but with a bit of head-scratching you can fit it to the satellite image.

One of the comments on this line regarded a tunnel a gentleman's girlfriend passed through. The only possibility I can think of was where the red trolley line crossed Sepulveda a little further north serving El Segundo? The route of the line passes down the side of the Lakes golf course in a northwest direction and must have gone over Sepulveda itself?

I'm very interested, specifically in the Redondo line, as the route goes right past my house. Best 2016 April's Fool was that it was going to be used as the new express LA to San Diego line and they were demolishing Vons on Man Beach Blvd to put in a seven storey car park! I admit, I was frothing for about 10 seconds until I realised!

Andy Watts
Manhattan Beach, CA


Shortened Link: http://a-r.us/1eg

Do you have any pictures or information about The Redondo Beach Branch? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.