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Goodbye to Red Cars on L.A.-Venice line

Goodbye to Red Cars on L.A.-Venice line

Sep. 18, 1950: Upon arrival in Los Angeles, Venice Lions Club members conduct a musical tribute to Pacific Electric Red Cars on the Los Angeles-Venice line.

A story in the Sep. 18, 1950, Los Angeles Times explains:

The first of 57 new motor coaches ordered to replace the old red cars on the Los Angeles-Venice line began rolling yesterday.

Part of the Pacific Electric Railway’s Co.’s $5,200,000 modernization program the coaches will carry 48 passengers each. …

Officials said one red train will run daily, except Saturdays and Sundays, over the route for the time being to hold the franchise. The other old cars will be taken to the company’s yards in Torrance and demolished.

The end of the old era will be celebrated today when members of the Venice Lions Club will ride one of the red cars to downtown Los Angeles, holding their regular meeting en route. The car will be decorated for the occasion.

This photo was published in the Sep. 19, 1950, Los Angeles Times.


  1. September 17, 2013, 7:01 am

    Is this the same route that is currently being used for the new Metro?

    By: Rosa M Eshaq
  2. September 26, 2013, 10:46 pm

    It is actually not the same route. This line ran in the traffic lanes or median of Venice Boulevard for most of its run from 6th and Main to Venice. The Pacific Electric had wanted to replace the congested street running from downtown to San Vicente with a subway, but this was part of a larger rapid transit plan that was opposed by this very paper and was ultimately denied New Deal funding.

    By: R Ruiz
  3. September 17, 2013, 8:03 am

    What a shame.

    By: greytv
  4. September 17, 2013, 8:24 am

    I was born and raised in Los Angeles and remember the red cars. Great memories of taking the red car from Mar Vista to downtown Los Angeles to shop for back to school shoes and clothes. Going down town
    on the red car was a great treat, especially at Christmas time. All the department stores had beautiful decorated windows. My father rode the red car to work everyday. Replacing them was a major mistake.
    Hind-site is always 20/20.

  5. September 7, 2014, 7:48 pm

    Agree. It was a big mistake. But then, L.A. was never known for its foresightedness!!

    By: Alma
  6. December 15, 2013, 8:42 pm

    The new Expo line follows the path of of the old Santa Monica Airline, which replaced the earlier steam powered Los Angeles and Independence Railroad. The Air line remained in service as a freight only line into the 1970s.


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