Archiving Angeles (AA): Hollywood Subway Opens

The first interurban rail line ran from Los Angeles to Pasadena. It opened in 1895.

33 years later, The Pacific Electric Railway was operating over 1000 miles of track and 2700 trains daily.

It was another milestone. It was the opening of the Hollywood Subway. The year was 1928.

Photo from the USC Digital Archive

8 Replies to “Archiving Angeles (AA): Hollywood Subway Opens”

  1. It opened in 1895.

    Yeah but construction started just after Lee surrendered to Grant.

    I think it was Measure B.

  2. For the life of me if that photo was snapped in Hollywood I haven’t a clue as to the location. If I had to guess I’d say it’s the Belmont tunnel outside of downtown. If so, lofts now stand where that train did.

  3. It was the “Hollywood Subway” because it was used by cars bound from downtown to Hollywood – and cars to Glendale and the San Fernando Valley, as well – but, even in 1925, it was “Hollywood” everyone wanted in the headline of their press release. :-)

    It wasn’t the first transit tunnel in LA, though – there were also a pair of tunnels just west of Hill Street, from Temple to Sunset (now Cesar Chavez), under what is now the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, the space above what is now the 101 freeway, and then under the new “Buck Rogers High School”,

    Those tunnels were built by Moses Sherman’s Los Angeles Pacific railway, one of the predecessors of the Pacific Electric.

    One of those tunnels was temporarily exposed during the early construction and grading for the new high school – I have pix.

    They were called the “Hill Street Cutoff”, and they opened in 1909.

    See http://www.erha.org/lap_hist.htm for details of their construction.

  4. Would love to see the pix of the Hill St. No. 1/2 tunnel if you get the chance to post them, lamapnerd, if there’s anything good. There wasn’t anything written (that I’ve seen) on those tunnels seeing the light of day during the grading.

  5. Before we go trapsing down memory lane about what a glorious rail network LA once had, let us also recall how pathetically slow most of the lines were, running at grade in mixed traffic (no Damien Goodmon around to fix that, back then). No faster than today’s bus system.

    Oh sure, it would have been nice to preserve some of the routes and upgrade them to dedicated ROW’s over time, that probably would have been a good idea, but it would have required a bundle of coin too.

    The real story here, though, is how all of these tunnels and undergrounds have survived every LA earthquake.

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