Original artwork Howard Nourse

"Updates" Archive Page 8

5/27/04 - 4/13/05

Update Archives page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5, page 6, page 7, page 8, page 9


5/27/04 Updates


For the period ending April 30, 2004 (representing just over 9 months of operation), the Red Car Line has recorded a total of  66,122 boardings over 174 operating days, a daily average of 380 boardings. Regular service continues to operate with cars 501 and 1058, with car 500 expected to be available for operation in June. Planning is also underway for a special one-year anniversary celebration during the weekend of July 17-18.


In the vicinity of the World Cruise Center Station, construction has begun on the Cruise Ship Promenade that will  transform the existing wharf area around the Cruise Terminal into an inviting new public space along the water. The Port is also nearing completion on final design of the new Harbor Boulevard Pedestrian Parkway that will parallel the Red Car Line tracks between the Cruise Center station and 5th St. These two projects are part of the Phase I redevelopment of the San Pedro waterfront. Planning for Phase II is also underway, including options for extending the Red Car Line and constructing a Red Car maintenance building and museum.   


Other improvements along the line include a new park at the Bloch Field baseball diamond, including a nice new overlook above the Red Car Line in the vicinity of the Ports O' Call Station. All of the new landscaping added since the line opened really blossomed nicely this spring, providing some excellent photo opportunities (see pictures below). 



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Artist's rendering of the new Harbor Blvd. Pedestrian Parkway

1058 alongside some of the new landscaping adjacent to the line

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501 on the line- Spring brought out some beautiful colors among all the new landscaping.

-Port of Los Angeles photos - Click any image to enlarge-


7/2/04 Updates


Ridership update: For the period ending June 30, 2004 (representing just over 11 months of operation), the Red Car Line has recorded a total of  80,435 boardings over 212 operating days, a daily average of 379 boardings. 


The big news this month is the 1st Anniversary Celebration planned for the weekend of July 17-18. The Red Car Line will be free all weekend, and in addition to regular cars 500, 501 and 1058, a very special guest car will also be operating. Pacific Electric 332, a single-truck "Birney" type streetcar will be visiting from the Orange Empire Railway Museum and will available for rides. 


Built in 1918, Car 332 served on local lines operated by the Pacific Electric in several Southland cities. After retirement in 1941, it was sold to MGM Studios along with sister cars 331 and 337. The trio appeared in several movies, most notably "Singin' in the Rain" in 1952. The cars were heavily modified over the course of their movie careers, and 337 was reported to have eventually been cut open to permit interior shots. Complete cars 331 and 332 were donated to the Orange Empire Railway Museum in 1966, and were subsequently restored to their original configuration. Some interesting clips from the scene featuring car 337 in "Singin' in the Rain" are available on Harry Marnell's website. Additional information about Car 332 is available on the PE 332 page of the OERM website


Passengers will board car 332 from the Red Car Line maintenance yard, located adjacent to the 22nd St. Red Car station. Additional information on the 1st Anniversary event is available on the Port of LA website. You can read the press release by clicking here (pdf file).


In other Red Car Line news, replica car PE 500 has passed its acceptance tests and will enter regular service in July.

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PE Birney Car 332 at the Orange Empire Railway Museum

Sister car 337 appearing in "Singin' in the Rain" at MGM in 1952.


7/15/04 Updates


Pacific Electric "Birney" Car 332 arrived as scheduled on July 12. The car is visiting from the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris California, and will be in San Pedro for only one week. On July 13, Car 332 and the Red Car Line were featured on the KTLA Channel 5 morning news. Reporter Gayle Anderson created an entertaining and educational segment that was enjoyed by all. 


Car 332 will be in public operation on Saturday and Sunday July 17-18 as part of the Red Car Line One Year Anniversary. Replica car 500 will also be making its public debut on Saturday July 17. Rides are free all weekend, come on out and join in the fun!


332 loading Perris sm.JPG (138957 bytes) 332 en route 4 sm.JPG (83661 bytes)
332 being loaded at Perris 7/12 En route to San Pedro 7/12
332 in transit Green Line sm.JPG (64044 bytes) 332 arrives San Pedro sm.JPG (88017 bytes)
Passing an MTA Green Line train on the 105 freeway 7/12 Arriving San Pedro 7/12
332 unloading 1 sm.JPG (111867 bytes) 332 unloading 3 sm.JPG (101814 bytes)
Unloading begins 7/12 Ramp sections are put in place 7/12
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On the freight tracks south of 22nd St. 7/12

Hi-rail truck towing 332 across 22nd St. 7/12
Monday 332 22nd St sm.JPG (145621 bytes) Monday 332 and 1058 sm.JPG (110614 bytes)
At 22nd St. station  7/12 Passing 1058 7/12
Monday 332 Maritime Museum sm.JPG (127222 bytes) Monday 332 Swinford sm.JPG (115087 bytes)
Passing the LA Maritime Museum 7/12 At Swinford St. 7/12
Tuesday 332 lineup sm.JPG (106602 bytes) Tuesday Gayle Anderson 3 sm.JPG (112637 bytes)
Morning lineup 7/13 Gayle Anderson in action 7/13
Tuesday Gayle Anderson 5 sm.JPG (141957 bytes) 332 Swinford St sm.JPG (97235 bytes)
Gayle on camera 7/13 At Swinford St. 7/14
332 SP Yard sm.JPG (128864 bytes) 332 POC sm.JPG (126338 bytes)
San Pedro yard 7/14 Ports O' Call Station 7/14
332 SP slip sm.JPG (127462 bytes) 332 Nightime sm.JPG (140231 bytes)
SP Slip 7/14 Nighttime with San Pedro City Hall in background 7/14 
500 nightime sm.JPG (112398 bytes) 332 Red Hat Society sm.JPG (111232 bytes)
Car 500 during nighttime tests 7/14 The Red Hat Society on board 332 7/13
-John Smatlak photos - Click any image to enlarge-

7/22/04 Updates


Ridership update: the Waterfront Red Car Line has completed its first full year of operations, recording a total of 87,621 passenger boardings over 127 operating days. 


The One Year Anniversary weekend went very well. 3,767 passenger boardings were recorded, including 447 on visiting Pacific Electric "Birney" Car 332. Over 700 passengers also took advantage of the connecting rubber-tired San Pedro Electric Trolley for trips to and from Cabrillo Beach. 


Replica car 500 made its public debut this weekend, operating both days along with car 1058. On Monday July 19, replica cars 500 and 501 handled regular service, marking the start of a well deserved rest for car 1058. The photos below illustrate the events of the weekend. 


Among the many visitors over the weekend was Mr. Robert Birney, great nephew of Charles O. Birney, for whom the Birney design is named. Car 332 returned to the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris on Monday July 19. 

332 and 1058 tent sm.JPG (120324 bytes) 332 at tent sm.JPG (106451 bytes)

332 at the Maintenance Yard as 1058 passes on the main

At the Maintenance Yard. Car 332 operated trips in and out of the yard throughout the weekend.

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Motorman Dave Garcia greets his passengers onboard car 332. 332 alongside the SP Slip
332 SP slip 4 sm.JPG (144077 bytes) 1058 side view sm.JPG (115065 bytes)
332 alongside the SP Slip 1058 in action
Robert Birney 332 sm.JPG (103432 bytes) 332 leaving San Pedro sm.JPG (86153 bytes)
Robert Birney poses with car 332

332 heading back to OERM, passing car 500 on the Red Car Line.

-John Smatlak photos - Click any image to enlarge-

9/28/04 Updates


The 2004 Lobster Fest event at the Port of Los Angeles broke all previous attendance records, with more than 50,000 attendees over the three-day festival of food and fun. The Red Car Line carried 10,311 passengers on Saturday and Sunday alone, and including Friday carried just over 11,000 passengers for the three days. Most of the passengers used the Red Car to travel between the remote parking lots at 22nd St. and the event entrance adjacent to the Ports O' Call station. Cars 500-501 shuttled between 22nd St. and Ports O' Call as a multiple unit (MU) train, while car 1058 held down the remainder of the route. Click here for the official Port press release.



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500-501 traveling along Sampson Way. Boarding passengers at 22nd St.
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Another full train approaches Ports O' Call.

Passengers exit at Ports O' Call, headed for the Lobster Fest.

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At the Ports O' Call station. Boarding at 22nd St.
-John Smatlak photos - Click any image to enlarge-

10/26/04 Updates


San Pedro will be hosting the Santa Fe 3751 steam locomotive beginning Wednesday October 27. The locomotive will be under steam and is scheduled to arrive Wednesday morning, October 27. It will be on display in the San Pedro yard adjacent to the 6th St. Red Car station. The locomotive will be available for public tours on Saturday and Sunday October 30-31. Red Car Line operations will be free on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to help celebrate this famous locomotive's visit. 

Additional information is available on the San Bernardino Railway Historical Society's website.


In other Red Car Line news, on October 18 the Port of LA authorized the start of the conceptual design process for the new Red Car Line Maintenance Facility and Museum. The facility will provide a permanent home for the Red Cars and will also feature a museum component. The new building is a component of the overall San Pedro Waterfront Promenade development effort which is now underway. Additional details are available on the Promenade project website, including a link to download the complete preferred plan.  



12/21/04 Updates

The late October visit by steam locomotive 3751 was very popular, drawing good crowds throughout its stay in the Harbor area. Several photos of the visit appear below. On December 3, the first phase of the "Bridge to Breakwater" development project, the Cruise Ship Promenade, officially opened to the public. The Cruise Ship Promenade is located adjacent to the World Cruise Center and is immediately adjacent to the Red Car Line's northern terminus. Some photographs appear below. The next phase of the promenade, paralleling the Red Car Line and Harbor Blvd. between Swinford and 5th Streets, is due to begin construction in early 2005.

The Promenade Project website contains a link to the complete preferred plan for the Bridge to Breakwater development effort.


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1058 and 500 at 6th St. 500 passing the 3751 display
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Two survivors from Southern California's transportation past The 3751 display
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1058 approaching 6th St. 500 passes 3751
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Entering the newly open Cruise Ship Promenade on a quiet morning

Looking east along the lower level boardwalk

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Looking west toward the Lane Victory museum ship

One of the lookout points with some information about the cruise ship industry

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Looking west along the upper level walk

Heading back out toward the Red Car station

-John Smatlak photos - Click any image to enlarge-


1/21/05 Updates

Construction has started on the Harbor Blvd. Promenade, and as a result, there is no longer a dedicated Red Car Line parking lot adjacent to the Cruise Terminal station. The station, of course, remains open and parking is available in the lot under the Vincent Thomas Bridge. Free parking is still available in the dedicated lot next to the 22nd St. station, and both the Downtown and Ports O' Call stations have ample free parking in adjacent lots and on-street. 

The area which was previously the Red Car Line parking lot at the Cruise Terminal will become part of a large public plaza when the Harbor Blvd. Promenade opens later this year. Additional information on the Promenade project is available on the Promenade Project website.

Preliminary design continues for the Red Car Line's new maintenance building and museum, which will be built along Sampson Way adjacent to the SP Slip. A preliminary artist's rendering appears below.



4/13/05 Updates

Construction on the new Harbor Blvd. Promenade is progressing rapidly. As seen in the snapshots below, the background for the Red Car Line along Harbor Blvd. now looks very different. The old fence is gone, and the walking surfaces and other elements of the promenade are beginning to take shape. Further information on the Promenade can be found on the Port's website. Planning efforts also continue for the line extension to Cabrillo Beach and other Harbor destinations. 

Mirroring the improvements along the Promenade, two exciting development projects are also underway in downtown San Pedro itself. Construction has started on the Centre Street Lofts project, a five story mixed use development being constructed on vacant land adjacent to the Sheraton Hotel in the heart of historic downtown. One block up the street, the Bank Lofts project announced the close of escrow on a project to create 89 loft-style homes in the historic 1924-vintage Bank of San Pedro building. Click here for a related article on the Urban Land Institute website. Both of these developments are located just two short blocks from the Downtown San Pedro Red Car station at 6th St.  

Ridership update: During the first 18 months of operation (ending 1/31/05), the Waterfront Red Car line carried 135,737 passengers over 349 operating days.


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Looking south from First St. Note the historic Ralph J. Scott fireboat in the background.

Looking north at O'Farrell St. A new pedestrian crossing will be installed here to provide access to the Promenade.

Looking south from First St., you can see the foundation of the new walkway surfaces under construction.

-John Smatlak photos - Click any image to enlarge-

Go to Updates Page 9




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