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  1. #1

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    The great Red Car conspiracy of Los Angeles: Is it real?

    DCA's "Red Car Trolley" attraction is based on the former RED CAR trolley system that once covered the Los Angeles basin.

    What ever happened to LA's real Red Cars? Was it a conspiracy of automotive and petroleum interests, as suggested in Disney's "WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT"? Read on... and give us your thoughts on the matter.

    The great Red Car conspiracy of Los Angeles: Is it real?

    http://www.scpr.org/programs/take-two/2013/03/29/31101/the-great-red-car-conspiracy-of-los-angeles/

    Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of the end of all streetcars in L.A., including the Red Car transit system, which ran on 1,100 miles of track. The story that most people believe about the end of the Red Car is that a car company bought it, dismantled it, and forced a dependency on freeways. But that isn't entirely accurate.


    Roman Mars and Eric Molinsky of 99% Invisible tell the real story about what happened to L.A.'s Red Car system.

    -----------------------------------


    See also:
    What happened? A lot of things. Low fares kept streetcars unprofitable and poorly maintained, streetcars were slow and unable to serve the sprawl they helped create and many people enjoyed the newfound freedom of having a car.
    Metro's The Source | Transportation News & Views

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    Re: The great Red Car conspiracy of Los Angeles: Is it real?


  3. #3

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    Re: The great Red Car conspiracy of Los Angeles: Is it real?

    I believe that it was probably the automotive industry that quashed LAs Red Trolly same as they prevented Disney hopes for a statewide monorail system.
    To Boldly Go Where No MiceChatter Has Gone Before!


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    Re: The great Red Car conspiracy of Los Angeles: Is it real?

    ​One of my coworkers remembers the Red Car Trolleys. He said the system worked really well and is sad that it's gone.
    I pledge allegiance to the Earth, one planet, many gods, and to the universe in which she spins.

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    Re: The great Red Car conspiracy of Los Angeles: Is it real?

    Historic Huntington Beach California: Take a ride on the Red Car: When the Pacific Electric Railway came to town

    I wonder which streets in Anaheim had trolley tracks, and when they went away. I don't think anybody arrived at Disneyland in the 50's via Red Cars, but if I'm wrong, let me know.

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    Re: The great Red Car conspiracy of Los Angeles: Is it real?

    Quote Originally Posted by alphabassetgrrl View Post
    ​One of my coworkers remembers the Red Car Trolleys. He said the system worked really well and is sad that it's gone.
    It encompassed 1,100 miles of track! Today, we are buying up the remaining railroad right of ways to build the Expo line, Crenshaw line, and the Orange line busway was built on a former rr row.

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    Re: The great Red Car conspiracy of Los Angeles: Is it real?

    Gotta tell you, I was half expecting this thread to be a Judge Doom/Roger Rabbit reference.

    Which itself was a reference to the great "Red Car" conspiracy

    My parents talk about it all the time when they used to use it as kids.

    Sounds much better than a bus system imo
    There is no right or wrong in this debate. It is simply a matter of perspective.
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    Re: The great Red Car conspiracy of Los Angeles: Is it real?

    I knew the Orange line was built on an old right of way and I guess I'm not surprised that the others are, too. Certainly makes sense to do so. I'm loving the expansion of rail transit lines and just rode the Expo line a couple of weeks ago (to the Natural History Museum). I go play tourist in the city every so often, and I take the train any time I can rather than drive.
    I pledge allegiance to the Earth, one planet, many gods, and to the universe in which she spins.

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    Re: The great Red Car conspiracy of Los Angeles: Is it real?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wren View Post
    Sounds much better than a bus system imo

    I certainly prefer trains to buses.
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  10. #10

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    Re: The great Red Car conspiracy of Los Angeles: Is it real?

    My son wrote about this for his California History class, and says that the Red Car system was established by Henry Huntington to transport people to his housing developments around S. California. The system itself was unprofitable for most of its life. Here is a link to the book he read:

    Los Angeles and the automobile : the making of the modern city (Book, 1987) [WorldCat.org]

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    Re: The great Red Car conspiracy of Los Angeles: Is it real?

    Quote Originally Posted by alphabassetgrrl View Post
    I knew the Orange line was built on an old right of way and I guess I'm not surprised that the others are, too. Certainly makes sense to do so. I'm loving the expansion of rail transit lines and just rode the Expo line a couple of weeks ago (to the Natural History Museum). I go play tourist in the city every so often, and I take the train any time I can rather than drive.
    You should post in the main thread: Mass Transit 2 the Disneyland Resort

    We'd love to have more visitors!

  12. #12

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    Re: The great Red Car conspiracy of Los Angeles: Is it real?

    Quote Originally Posted by alphabassetgrrl View Post

    I certainly prefer trains to buses.
    Oh yes. I recently spent a week in Tokyo and it was amazing. Trains EVERYWHERE. And if the area you went to wasn't directly served by a train, a community bus filled in the gaps.

    I wish the US had a transit system to rival Japan. It took me about three and a half hours to get from where I was in Tokyo to where I needed to be in Osaka. That would be like getting from where I live in Diamond Bar to say, Berkeley in the SF Bay area. *sigh* I can dream...

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    Re: The great Red Car conspiracy of Los Angeles: Is it real?

    Mass Transit to Disneyland Resort

    Mass Transit to Disneyland Resort

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    One thing that bothers me about the Disneyland Resort is that unlike Tokyo, Hong Kong and Paris resorts, there are no rail connections to the parks.

    Walt Disney World may or may not get hooked up to some Orlando Airport to DisneyWorld line, but they have the Magical Express service for now.

    However, if you want to go to Disneyland, you have to drive in California.

    What if the MiceChat community got a petition or letter writing campaign going to encourage the City of Anaheim to pursue such a rail link to Los Angeles. They are currently trying to draw the NFL to Anaheim, if that happens and the 2016 Olympics are awarded to Los Angeles (the bid has to be turned in next year to the US Olympic Committee) there could be some real momentum to connect the Anaheim Stadiums and Parks to downtown Los Angeles via some sort of light rail line that could go down the 5 Fwy or parallel it.

    Too bad there are not shuttles every 1/2 hour between Universal Studios and Disneyland, that would be great too. It's just such a shame that you have to drive through so much traffic to get there.

    I thought there might be some others on here who might agree. We need the same rail links here that the intl. parks all have.
    Originally posted: 10/21/05

  14. #14

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    Re: The great Red Car conspiracy of Los Angeles: Is it real?

    Actually, the Pacific Electric didn't succumb to the "evil empire" per se, it was Los Angeles Railways that was also part of Henry Huntington's estate was purchased by a company called "National City Lines". The principal stock holders in NCL were Firestone, Standard Oil of CA, and General Motors Corp. Put them all together and you spell B U S.
    Los Angeles Railway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  15. #15

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    Re: The great Red Car conspiracy of Los Angeles: Is it real?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    Historic Huntington Beach California: Take a ride on the Red Car: When the Pacific Electric Railway came to town

    I wonder which streets in Anaheim had trolley tracks, and when they went away. I don't think anybody arrived at Disneyland in the 50's via Red Cars, but if I'm wrong, let me know.
    I can partially answer that.

    Against my neighborhood that I grew up in ... was a cargo railroad line. As a child ... it use to scare me to see these BIG TRAINS .. looming over the roofs of homes .. at the end of my block. And on the way to my K thru 6 school ... I wouldn't DARE walk the track right-of-way ... as others did, as a shortcut to school. The number of freight trains slowly dwindled ... as the number of industrial businesses began to wane in the 80s, along the track route. This line eventually ceased operation.

    20 years later ... I would walk the street to my old elementary school ... and I said to myself "Well, I'll be F*d!" .... It turned out that cargo railroad line was the Watts To Santa Ana RED Car line. Which stopped operation in 1950. And later the line became used for freight trains.




    And if you want to take a look at the dedication plaque ... on Holder Street ... just to the south of Cypress college ... you'll see the plaque .... as it mentions the RED Car. And you can also see another dedication plaque as it crossed near the intersection of Ball Road and Knott Ave. ... Making a straight line toward Santa Ana.

    So ... as DL opened in '55 ... with the track closed as of 1950 ... if anyone did use a Red Car to partially get to DL ... it would have had to be the other two lines .... along the coast ... or the one to the north .. unless they shut prior to 1955 as well.

    Imagine the Watts to Santa Ana line operating today !!!

    It just wouldn't have happened.

    "The Belt" has grown so dangerous ... Who in their right mind ... would use this line from Orange County ... to get into LA or Long Beach ... especially at night?

    Though ... there's that right of way .. At least from Cypress to Garden Grove. Perhaps someday ... that right-of-way will be used for some mass transit corridor ... but stop at the Orange County border .. before entering LA County!
    Last edited by Tomorrowland_1967; 04-03-2013 at 04:13 PM.
    MY SIGNATURE:
    Dear Peoplemover Fans, If you want to see a new attraction that at least mimics the 1967 Peoplemover in a future Tomorrowland remodel, you need to write to the powers-that-be, and let them know. If you don't - Then the next time Tomorrowland is remodeled, you will see a land barren of any "Peoplemover" type attraction.

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