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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bellflower in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Bellflower Pacific Electric Train Depot

 
 
Bellflower Train Depot Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, March 20, 2019
1. Bellflower Train Depot Marker
Inscription.  
The view from Somerset (Bellflower) Boulevard in 1915, 10 years after the Santa Ana line first opened. On the left is PE substation #12. The Pacific Electric was an electrically powered interurban rail system. Power came from the company’s own steam power plants, Southern California Edison, or the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power. At various points along the line, the generated high power AC current was converted to 600v or 1200v DC for operation of the trains. Power was connected from the substation building to the overhead wire where it was picked up by the trolley pole flowing down through the electric motors in the train trucks and down into the steel rails to make a complete circuit back to the substation.
By 1927 passenger traffic at Bellflower had grown and the company replaced the little waiting shelter seen above with a fine new depot building.
On the left is Bellflower Depot about 1930 soon after the building was constructed. On the right can be seen the same view during WWII. About 1943 the lovely outdoor porch has been enclosed as during the war the PE carried all time record passenger traffic. The 2008 restoration
Pacific Electric System, c.1915 image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, March 20, 2019
2. Pacific Electric System, c.1915
brought the building back to its original 1927 appearance.

Pacific Electric System, c.1915

The Pacific Electric Railway was the world’s largest electric interurban passenger system. At its peak, the 1200 route miles of track extended throughout Southern California from the city of Owensmouth (now Canoga Park) in the west to Redlands in the east, and from Mt. Lowe in the hills above Altadena in the north to Newport Beach and Balboa Island at its southernmost extension.

Interurban Cars

These large interurban cars originally saw service in the San Francisco Bay area. Brought to Los Angeles to carry war workers to the ship yards at Terminal Island for the US Maritime Commission, after the war the PE purchased most of these cars and operated them on the Southern District lines. Known as ‘blimps’ these cars were the mainstay of the Santa Ana & Bellflower lines after WWII. The PE abandoned passenger rail service to Santa Ana July 2, 1950 cutting the line back to Bellflower. On September 3, 1957 Bellflower became California’s 348th city, barely eight months later on May 25, 1958 all passenger rail service from Los Angeles to Bellflower was abandoned.
 
Location. 33° 53.132′ N, 118° 7.498′ W. Marker is in Bellflower, California, in Los Angeles
Interurban Cars image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, March 20, 2019
3. Interurban Cars
County. Marker is at the intersection of Bellflower Boulevard and Mayne Street, on the left when traveling south on Bellflower Boulevard. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 16398 Bellflower Boulevard, Bellflower CA 90706, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Under the Hay Tree, World’s Hay Price Was Set (approx. 2 miles away); Paramount Hay Tree (approx. 2 miles away); Norwalk Square (approx. 2.7 miles away); The Boys of Del Valle Park (was approx. 3.1 miles away but has been reported missing. ); American Legion Norwalk Post 359 (approx. 3.2 miles away); Cerritos Air Disaster Memorial (approx. 3.6 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 3.8 miles away); Douglas Park (approx. 3.8 miles away).
 
Categories. ArchitectureRailroads & Streetcars
 
Train Depot Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, March 20, 2019
4. Train Depot Marker
Left to right: Train Depot Marker; Pacific Electric System map c.1915; Interurban Cars; and reproductions of two 1931 newspaper articles about diminishing rail service before WWII.
Train Depot and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, March 20, 2019
5. Train Depot and Marker
The marker is in the sidewalk, next to the depot, at left.
Train Depot image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, March 20, 2019
6. Train Depot
 

More. Search the internet for Bellflower Pacific Electric Train Depot.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 4, 2019. This page originally submitted on May 3, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 44 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 3, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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