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Pacific Electric in San Pedro/ Wilmington  


San Pedro depot.JPG (181856 bytes)

314 at San Pedro Don Brown photo.jpg (212188 bytes)

Don Brown Photos, OERM Collection, click to enlarge

498 San Pedro L Swanson.JPG (90089 bytes)

L. Swanson photo, OERM Collection,
click to enlarge

Orange Empire Railway Museum founding member Don Brown took the top two pictures in 1957. The Municipal Ferry Building can be seen in the background of the top photo. Today this building houses the Los Angeles Maritime Museum. Car 314, seen in the middle photo, also survives today at the Orange Empire Railway Museum. Ditto with car 498, seen in the lower photo, with the San Pedro City Hall building visible in the background.

PE’s two-story San Pedro depot was opened in 1920, and succumbed to the wrecking ball in 1961. The new 6th Station on the Port of Los Angeles Waterfront Red Car Line is located just east of the former PE station site, adjacent to the entrance of the Maritime Museum.

San Pedro Postcard Views

-click image to enlarge-

depotPC.jpg (90421 bytes)

The Pacific Electric San
Pedro Depot Ca. 1920


harborPC.jpg (48349 bytes)

of the San Pedro waterfront in the Teens. This view may be of the SP
slip, near the present Ports O’ Call Red Car Station.

bridgePC.jpg (40700 bytes)

of the bascule bridge that provided rail access to the San Pedro
harborfront. This bridge spanned the turning basin near what is now the
west side of the Vincent Thomas Bridge.

harborPC2.jpg (45064 bytes)

view of the San Pedro waterfront in the Teens.

Ferry_Bldg_1960.jpg (27576 bytes)

Ferry Terminal Building Ca. 1960, now the Los Angeles Maritime Museum.

harborPC3.jpg (37015 bytes)

was the pre-1920 Southern Pacific / PE station in San Pedro. The train of Red Cars is parked
about where the new depot was built in 1920. The crowd of people is
walking towards what is now the site of the Ferry Terminal Building.


sanpedro219.jpg (78490 bytes)

Front Street, today’s Harbor Blvd., prior
to construction of the 1920 PE depot.


Postcard view of City Hall.jpg (238916 bytes)

Late 1920s view of San Pedro waterfront.

PC BW San Pedro depot.jpg (50071 bytes)

4018.jpg (24651 bytes)

Two additional postcard views of
the depot.

Yesterday & Today

RYPN 1058_city_hall.jpg (148220 bytes)

In this 1946
scene, PE 1001 is resting between runs just south of 6th St. San Pedro
City Hall, which remains a part of the skyline today,
is visible behind the car. Car 1001 itself is
preserved in operating condition at the Orange
Empire Railway Museum
in Perris, California. 

Photo: Craig Rasmussen Collection.


Same scene in 2003 with PE
1058 on the Waterfront Red Car Line. Note San Pedro City Hall in the

John Smatlak photo


SP Yard CHS-49712cis_1024_lres.jpg (350175 bytes)

San Pedro Yard 3 sm.JPG (283308 bytes)

San Pedro yard, prior to construction
of present day City Hall building. Harbor Blvd. at left. PE tracks along
retaining wall at left.

USC Digital Archives


Same scene today,
Waterfront Red Car Line track at right

John Smatlak photo


1235_power_sta.jpg (97532 bytes)

Line_power_sta.jpg (43425 bytes)

It’s 1945, and a train of
PE Twelves headed by 1235 passes the San Pedro Municipal Power &
Light Station. The train has just entered the West Basin Line, inbound
to Los Angeles. The trestle approach to the bascule bridge is visible in
the background.  

Photo: Craig Rasmussen Collection.


Fifty-six years later, the
building still stands. In 2001, it sits in the shadow of the Vincent
Thomas Bridge (visible at left and behind), adjacent to the World Cruise
Center and the new Waterfront Red Car Line. The old PE tracks are still
visible in the pavement in front of the building. 

John Smatlak photo


PE 411 San Pedro 032358 sm.jpg (98448 bytes)

Front Street crossing 2007.jpg (124606 bytes)

(MCL) 411 crossing Front Street, 1958

Harold Stewart photo, OERM Collection


Same crossing, 2007. The
Vincent Thomas bridge now dominates this area.

John Smatlak photo


PE 496 outer harbor.jpg (153349 bytes)

Signal St looking north sm.JPG (88979 bytes)

It’s 1950
and a railfan trip on the PE 496 has ventured to near the end of the
“Outer Harbor” freight spur. The car is on Signal St. with the
camera looking north, and the
warehouse buildings at left stand today. The small building visible at
far right is today part of the Westway Terminal facility. Credit:
OERM Collection


same area, looking north July 2005. The rails and the warehouse buildings are still in
use, although the Pacific Electric’s trains are long gone.

John Smatlak photo


PE 1373 Outer Harbor WH1 sm.jpg (92378 bytes)

PE Outer Harbor color004 sm.jpg (171341 bytes)

color view from the same 1950s fantrip


1950s era railfan trip to the Outer Harbor, this time with PE car 1374.
The camera looks south with Warehouse One in the background. 

OERM Collection


Signal St 2 07 f sm.JPG (112208 bytes)

PE San Pedro LaRambla Harbor Blvd scene.jpg (146066 bytes)


south down Signal St. in the same area, 2007.  Warehouse One once again in the background. 

John Smatlak photo


Blvd., circa 1938. PE LaRambla Birney awaiting departure time. Note San
Pedro City Hall in background. Credit: Ernie Leo photo, ERHA-SC


Wilmingont Bekins Building 1947.jpg (265839 bytes)

Wilmington ROW JCS sm.JPG (101886 bytes)

Station area; looking northeast along the PE right-of-way at
“B” Street (today Harry Bridges Blvd.) and Fries Ave.

Craig Rasmussen Collection


scene in 2007. Part of the Bekins warehouse is still in operation, and
rails are still in place on the abandoned PE right-of-way.

John Smatlak photo



PE 312 B St Wilmington zoom RBP 112755 sm.jpg (148702 bytes)

This scene looks to the northeast along the PE right-of-way in Wilmington.
The outbound car is turning off the right-of-way onto westbound
“B” Street (Harry Bridges Blvd. today). Much of this scene
remains intact today; the right-of-way (still with some track) is still
visible on both sides of the street, and the Bekins Warehouse building
visible in the background is still there. Robert B. Petersen photo,
OERM Collection.

PE 432 San Pedro Yard RBP 053154 sm.jpg (122759 bytes)

At 6th Street, Ferry Terminal Building (today’s Maritime Museum) in the
background. The track where the SP diesel switcher is running is still
in place today. The electrified PE tracks in the foreground are gone. Robert
B. Petersen photo, OERM Collection.

PE 405 San Pedro Depot RBP 060654 sm.jpg (96820 bytes)

At the San Pedro PE Depot. San Pedro City Hall in the background. Robert
B. Petersen photo, OERM Collection.

PE 314 OB 1st St San Pedro RBP 101053 sm.jpg (113689 bytes)

This scene looks north at First Street. The PE tracks were much closer to the
water’s edge than the tracks along Harbor Blvd. are today (Harbor Blvd.
would be out of view to the left in this picture). Today this area is a
wide open concrete lot, part of which is used by Cruise Terminal
operations. Car 314 survives today at the Orange Empire Railway Museum. Robert
B. Petersen photo, OERM Collection.

PE San Pedro yard RBP 061150 sm.jpg (115967 bytes)

Looking south in the San Pedro Yard during a 1950 PE fantrip. The electrified PE
tracks occupied the western edge of the property, directly adjacent to
Harbor Blvd. The SP freight tracks are at left, and the eastern-most
track is today electrified as the Waterfront Red Car Line. Robert B.
Petersen photo, OERM Collection.