El Segundo to Redondo Beach

The Redondo Beach Branch

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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

ATCHISON, TOPEKA & SANTA FE RAILWAY
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
10/27/2012

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