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Guide to the Pacific Electric Railway Company Records
70-DPGTL  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access Terms
  • Administrative Information
  • Arrangement of Materials:
  • Scope and Contents

  • Overview of the Collection

    Collection Title: Pacific Electric Railway Company Records
    Dates: 1908-1964
    Bulk Dates: 1940-1950
    Identification: 70-DPGTL
    Creator: Pacific Electric Railway Company
    Physical Description: 14.00
    Alternate Extent Statement: 4.80 linear feet
    Language of Materials: English
    Repository: Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive
    1 Gateway Plaza
    15th Floor, Mail Stop: 99-15-1
    Los Angeles, CA, 90012-2952
    URL: http://arcat.metroprimaryresources.info
    Email: library@metro.net
    Phone: (213) 922-4859
    Fax: (213) 922-7955
    Abstract: The Pacific Electric Railway Company, established by Henry Huntington, connected cities across the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The records in this collection consist of information about rules and regulations governing employees, timetables and vehicle information, financial, operation, and service reports, as well as contracts and agreements made during the sale of Pacific Electric Railway Company property and stock to Metropolitan Coach Lines.

    Biography/Organization History

    Historical Note:

    Pacific Electric Railway (PE) was created with Henry Edwards Huntington as principal stockholder. Huntington completed the first PE line in 1902 which ran from Los Angeles to Long Beach. He later sold his shares to Southern Pacific in 1910.
    In 1911, the "Great Merger" took place when Southern Pacific combined PE with nearly all of the interurban railways in a four-county region of Southern California, which continued operating under the Pacific Electric name.
    PE's passenger operations, both rail and bus, were sold to the newly formed Metropolitan Coach Lines in 1953. The last rail line of the former Pacific Electric was converted to bus service in 1961. Southern Pacific ended the existence of PE in 1965, folding what little mileage remained of the PE's freight operation into Southern Pacific's own operation.

    Administrative History:

    The Pacific Electric Railway Company (PERy) was created by Henry Huntington in 1901. Huntington completed the first operating line in 1902 which ran from Los Angeles to Long Beach. He later sold his shares of PERy to Southern Pacific Railway in 1910. In 1911 the “Great Merger” took place. Although continuing to operate under the Pacific Electric name, Southern Pacific Railway merged PERy with nearly all of the interurban railways in a four-county region of Southern California. PERy grew to connect various cities across the Los Angeles metropolitan area. PERy vehicles were commonly known as the Red Cars, the most obvious feature distinguishing PERy cars from the vehicles operated by the Los Angeles Railway. As patronage on passenger rail lines declined after the second World War, PERy began converting rail routes to bus service. Eventually, in 1953, PERy sold its passenger operations to the Metropolitan Coach Lines. Metropolitan Coach Lines continued the conversion from rail passenger service to bus passenger service and the final former Pacific Electric Railway passenger rail line was converted to bus service in 1961. Southern Pacific Railway eventually abolished the Pacific Electric Railway Company 1965, folding what little mileage remained of PERy’s freight operation into Southern Pacific’s own operation.

    Access Terms

    This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

    Corporate Name:

    Pacific Electric Railway Company

    Topical Term:

    Electric railroads Cars
    Labor unions--California--Los Angeles
    Local Transit - California - Los Angeles County - Archival Resources
    Local Transit - Community relations - California - Los Angeles County
    Local Transit -- California -- Los Angeles County
    Local Transit -- California -- Los Angeles County -- Maps
    Local transit--United States.
    Transportation - California - Los Angeles County - Archival Resources
    Transportation -- California -- Los Angeles County

    Administrative Information

    Custodial History:

    The Pacific Electric Railway Company was sold to the Metropolitan Coach Lines bus company, which was later acquired by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (LAMTA). LAMTA was superseded by the Southern California Rapid Transit District (SCRTD) in 1964. SCRTD’s library and its materials were retained by the successor agency, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, also known as Metro.

    Separated Materials:

    Oversized material is located in the flat maps drawer

    Conditions Governing Access:

    Please contact the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive for information on collection access and restrictions.

    Preferred Citation:

    Pacific Electric Railway Company Records, 70-DPGTL. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive.

    Related Materials:

    Records created by the Los Angeles Railway Corporation, which operated local rail passenger cars at the same time as the Pacific Electric Railway Company, and records created by Metropolitan Coach Lines, the company that acquired Pacific Electric’s passenger rail cars and buses, may be found in this repository.

    Arrangement of Materials:

    Arranged in 9 series: 1. Corporate Culture, circa 1920 – circa 1940. 2. Correspondence, 1952 – 1954 3. Facilities, 1940 – 1950. 4. Employees, 1908 – 1953. 5. Joint Passenger Tariff, 1932 – 1952. 6. Maps and Routes, 1915 - 1957 7. Public Relations, circa 1915 - 1950. 8. Reports, 1906 - 1954 9. Vehicles and Line Locations, circa 1910 - 1950. 10. Contracts and Agreements, 1953 - 1956. 11. Miscellaneous, 1945 - 1964. 12. Small Books, 1905 - 1951.

    Scope and Contents

    This collection consists of records created during the operation of the Pacific Electric Railway Company. Such records include examinations, application materials, and rules and regulations for employees, time tables, vehicle specifications, fare information, and service announcements, 26 issues of “Pacific Electric Magazine,” reports on accidents, finances, operations, and service, correspondence and interlining arrangements between the Pacific Electric Railway Company, Motor Transit Company, and Pacific Greyhound Lines, contract containing the agreements made in the sell of Pacific Electric Railway Company rail passenger cars to Metropolitan Coach Lines.