Pacific Electric – Soto / Huntington Bridge

The last large Pacific Electric railroad grade separation, located in the El Sereno area of Los Angeles, is scheduled for removal in the near future. Last week, I took the opportunity to take photos of this structure while I still could.

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Located at the flag on the map.

View from the eastern side. Steps lead to the passenger platform for northbound trains.
View from the eastern side. Steps lead to the passenger platform for northbound trains.

The structure is located along the former PE Northern District’s main line. The rail line here had four tracks. Outer tracks for local trains, inner tracks for express trains. Trains passed through here bound for downtown Los Angeles, Pasadena, Monrovia, and Alhambra. It was built in 1936 as an upgrade to alleviate traffic congestion along busy Mission St. Passenger platforms were constructed at both ends of the structure, both of which exist today.

Passenger platform on the northbound side.
Passenger platform on the northbound side.
Former catenary poles and rail used as a light pole and barrier.
Former catenary poles and rail used as a light pole and barrier.
Deck view showing the twin steel spans.
Deck view showing the twin steel spans.
Concrete approaches with a painted clearance sign.
Concrete approaches with a painted clearance sign.
1936 bridge plaque. Visible in the top left side of the steel girder.
1936 bridge plaque. Visible in the top left side of the steel girder.
Closeup of the steel spans crossing Mission / Huntington.
Closeup of the steel spans crossing Mission / Huntington.

After the tracks were removed in the 1960’s, the bridge was rehabilitated for highway use. The fill at both ends was partially removed and the bridge deck was paved. The former catenary poles remain as light posts.

Slowly, the remnants of the Pacific Electric in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area are going away. While it is a loss of history, Los Angeles is working toward a future with more rail lines. It won’t ever be the “PE”, but it will go a long way toward a better future.

Wildflowers in bloom on Cuyamaca Peak

Cuyamaca Peak in San Diego County is a really steep but rewarding hike. From the 6512′ summit, a wide area of San Diego backcountry can be seen. In May 2014, the trip up the mountain was just as interesting. Many different types of wildflowers were in bloom, which added a nice touch to the still evident devastation caused by the 2003 Cedar Fire.

Looking up the trail, many dead trees can be seen from the 2003 fires.
Looking up the trail, many dead trees can be seen from the 2003 fires.
Lupine alongside the road to the summit.
Lupine alongside the road to the summit.
Indian Paint Pot flowers, I think.
Indian Paint Pot flowers, I think.
At the summit, looking northerly toward Palomar Mountain and Santa Ysabel Valley.
At the summit, looking northerly toward Palomar Mountain and Santa Ysabel Valley.

New pages from old

After a hiatus since 2008, I have reposted more pages from the old Santa Clarita Valley Resources Page. The Railroads page has been redesigned to accommodate the old pages and will be expanded with new pages on the Pacific Electric Railway and Los Angeles Railway. I am still working on adding back the Santa Clarita Valley History pages as well. Look for more updates in the next few weeks.

 New Railroads Page