Pacific Electric Railway Company car no. 1129 at the Wilson trail in Sierra Madre, September 11, 1950. Photo courtesy of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive. Photograph by Alan Weeks.
Not that long ago, Southern California was home to an impressive network of rail systems known at the Pacific Electric Railway.
The brainchild of rail tycoon Henry Huntington, the P.E. delivered passengers to destinations all over SoCal.
Passengers were shuttled from the area to Los Angeles via the Sierra Madre Line, which utilized a large portion of the Monrovia-Glendora Line. The Sierra Madre Line spurred off from the latter in San Marino and snaked its way through residential areas and business districts in East Pasadena, finally settling in town.
The line terminated just short of the Mt. Wilson Trailhead, at the southwest corner of East Highland Avenue and North Mountain Trail.
Other than serving peak passengers during WWII (625,311), the Sierra Madre line was not that popular. As development started encompassing the freeway system instead of the P.E. rail lines, ridership only continued to declined.
On Dec. 28, 1950, the last car on the Sierra Madre line made its final run.