Superfly
Topic Author
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SoCal Railroad Enthusiast (Part IV?)

Sat Jun 18, 2005 2:06 am

I know Matt D posted several threads about this in the past.
One now deceased railroad that I find fascinating was
the Mount Lowe Railroad. It was a cable car that climbed 3,130
feet on a 62% grade to the top of Mount Lowe
which is one of the shorter peaks of the
San Gabriel Mountains above Pasadena.
On top was a hotel and tavern.
It was built in the late 1800s and operated
until the mid 1930s. It’s time-line seemed like
it consistently was plagued with disasters.
Storms, mudslides and fires pledged this rail line
and ultimately it closed down and the tracks
were scrapped.

When we moved to California, we settled in
Altadena right at the base of where
this rail line started. I often took hikes
in this area and sometimes I’d come across
remnants of this rail line. This I an
extremely steep mountain to climb and the
idea that a train climbed this mountain with
1880s technology is amazing.
The views from here are amazing.
You can see all of the Los Angeles
metropolitan area as well as Santa Catalina Island
and even San Clemente Island

Here is the timeline:
http://www.mountlowe.org/staticpages/index.php?page=timeline




http://www.mtlowe.net/images/news-3.jpg

http://www.mtlowe.net/images/news-4.jpg


http://memory.loc.gov/service/pnp/cph/3c10000/3c18000/3c18000/3c18093v.jpg


All that remains today




Bring back the Concorde
 
PlainSmart
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SoCal Railroad Enthusiast (Part IV?)

Sat Jun 18, 2005 5:44 am

I used to camp and go all over the mt lowe road all the time. I used to get up early and train on the trail before school frequently. Great memories there.
 
saxdiva
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SoCal Railroad Enthusiast (Part IV?)

Sat Jun 18, 2005 6:03 am

Hey there,

I've been up that trail a number of times in the past. It's a very cool place to hike.

There are the remains of lots of private inclines/funiculars around. There's one within walking distance of my house that used to go up to the Castaway restaurant; I've got pictures of the derelict system that I took just before the city pulled most of it out. There was supposed to be another at Forest lawn, I think; I haven't gone looking for it. You can also see the Belmont Tunnel opening in the Silverlake area, and I've photographed that one--it's actually in interesting place to view urban street art. Let me know if you'd like a peek.

But the cool place to go down here is the Orange Empire Rail Museum. And I'll tell ya what--if we want to do a mini-meet here in SoCal this summer, I'll organize it. The best part of this, of course, is that March ARB is right near by. Follow this link if you'd like to see any of my OERM pics.

Orange Empire Rail Museum

If you look these over, keep in mind that I was only there about an hour that day, and barely had time to peek at their collection, which is phenomonal. I also have a lot more to post. .

Later,
Leanne
 
Superfly
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RE: SoCal Railroad Enthusiast (Part IV?)

Sun Jun 19, 2005 3:14 am

PlainSmart & Saxdiva:
Wow that's cool to see another member here who is familiar with that area. I used to ride my bike in this area before school the one year I attended Loma Alta elementary school (1984-1985).

Cheney Trail is still a nice secluded place to visit with dates too.  Smile

Saxdiva:
One year our high school's homecoming dance was at the Castaway restaurant.
That is a good website, and I'll read over it more during the week.
Bring back the Concorde
 
Superfly
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RE: SoCal Railroad Enthusiast (Part IV?)

Tue Jun 21, 2005 12:24 am

We have trains like this in service here in San Francisco on Market street.

http://www.leannepowers.com/OERM/637_trolley.jpg
Bring back the Concorde
 
Matt D
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RE: SoCal Railroad Enthusiast (Part IV?)

Tue Jun 21, 2005 12:30 am

Cool post! We don't really have any trains like that here in SoCal. But as you lived in Pasadena, where the old Santa Fe line used to run, next time you come down, check out the old line. They turned it into the MTA "Gold Line" trolley car. It runs down the middle of the 210, just like the old Santa Fe did. Only now, there's all of those unsightly catenary wires strung up. Also, they built an apartment complex in Old Town right OVER the tracks, if you can believe that. The line currently ends right at Rosemead Blvd on the 210.
 
N1120A
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RE: SoCal Railroad Enthusiast (Part IV?)

Tue Jun 21, 2005 12:45 am

Quoting Matt D (Reply 5):
Only now, there's all of those unsightly catenary wires strung up.

Yeah, it is too bad they don't use third rail. I think the reason is for commonality with other lines and the fact that the lines run on streets at times and that would present a safety hazard

Quoting Matt D (Reply 5):
The line currently ends right at Rosemead Blvd on the 210.

Will eventually go all the way to Claremont
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
Matt D
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RE: SoCal Railroad Enthusiast (Part IV?)

Tue Jun 21, 2005 12:51 am

Will eventually go all the way to Claremont

In another 10 years, being the most optimistic projection. I missed out on the Pasadena section of the "old line". This is why I have very methodically photographed and documented the current Arcadia-Claremont section of the old Santa Fe line, which still stands and sees a few freight movements.

I think the reason is for commonality with other lines

If that was the case, then the old line should've remained. Perhaps double tracked, like it is now, only run diesel "heavy rail", just like Metrolink. I made a long post about this awhile back. Read my argument here:

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/non_aviation/read.main/796988

[Edited 2005-06-20 17:56:03]
 
Superfly
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RE: SoCal Railroad Enthusiast (Part IV?)

Tue Jun 21, 2005 1:28 am

It's too bad that there aren't any new cool projects being build like this anymore. The only thing around similar to this is the Palm Springs Arial Tramway which was build years ago.
Bring back the Concorde
 
Tom in NO
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RE: SoCal Railroad Enthusiast (Part IV?)

Tue Jun 21, 2005 2:30 am

Quoting Saxdiva (Reply 2):
the Castaway restaurant

Someone refresh my memory, where is the Castaway?

Quoting Matt D (Reply 7):
Will eventually go all the way to Claremont

In another 10 years, being the most optimistic projection

Would they use the line that passes just adjacent to, and south of, downtown Claremont? Also, is that the same line that continues past the Ontario Airport? Not having paid a lot of attention to the railroads when I was growing up (other than hearing them from our house in Claremont, especially at night), hopefully I'm not mixing lines up.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
Matt D
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RE: SoCal Railroad Enthusiast (Part IV?)

Tue Jun 21, 2005 2:34 am

Tom:

No, the line in question is indeed the one that runs through Claremont, between Arrow and Bonita. Currently Metrolink uses it. It branches off just west of Cambridge Ave, a couple of miles west of Indian Hill. The Metrolink veers off towards the south, and the old Santa Fe line continues northwest through San Dimas on to Arcadia and Pasadena. It is planned as a joint use line, with a third track.

the line that goes past ONT between Mission and Holt is a Union Pacific mainline that is gridlocked with freights. No plans to turn that one into a commuter line.
 
Superfly
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RE: SoCal Railroad Enthusiast (Part IV?)

Wed Jun 22, 2005 1:59 am

I should take a hike in this area next time I am down there. I haven't been there since the fires of 1993.
Bring back the Concorde
 
travelin man
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RE: SoCal Railroad Enthusiast (Part IV?)

Wed Jun 22, 2005 3:52 am

I've done the Mt. Lowe hike several times. It's a great hike, with awesome views of the LA basin on clear days. Superfly, thanks for bring this up! I always thought the history of the railroad and the resort at the summit was interesting.
 
Superfly
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RE: SoCal Railroad Enthusiast (Part IV?)

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:05 am

Travelin man:

I am surprised you know about this too. It’s so obscure and a long time ago.
It was such an engineering feat even by today’s standards. No one is doing anything like this today.
Even the hike is amazing. You can literally walk up to the snow level.
I’ve done that many of times when I would ditch school.
Bring back the Concorde
 
N1120A
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RE: SoCal Railroad Enthusiast (Part IV?)

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:31 am

Quoting Matt D (Reply 7):
If that was the case, then the old line should've remained. Perhaps double tracked, like it is now, only run diesel "heavy rail", just like Metrolink. I made a long post about this awhile back. Read my argument here:

Not really, considering they already have cantenary light rail equipment on the 2 other above ground lines. Also, Metrolink should be looking to move away from traditional heavy rail to DMU (medium rail if you like) to reduce costs, improve ride and the like. They could use either the Siemens Sprinter (like the new Escondido-Oceanside line) or the ugly but efficient Colorado Railcar
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
Superfly
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RE: SoCal Railroad Enthusiast (Part IV?)

Fri Jun 24, 2005 7:04 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 14):
They could use either the Siemens Sprinter (like the new Escondido-Oceanside line) or the ugly but efficient Colorado Railcar

What are the loads like on that line?
Bring back the Concorde
 
57AZ
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RE: SoCal Railroad Enthusiast (Part IV?)

Fri Jun 24, 2005 6:38 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 6):
Yeah, it is too bad they don't use third rail. I think the reason is for commonality with other lines and the fact that the lines run on streets at times and that would present a safety hazard

Not really if done properly. Washington DC's streetcar system ran off a buried third rail in the downtown areas. Instead of having a side mounted shoe, the contact mechanism was built into the trucks and contacted the third rail which was in a slotted trench similar in appearance to the trench that carries the cable for the SF cable cars.

As for the Mount Lowe incline, it's impressive looking but was not the steepest incline in the nation (or the world). That honor belongs to the Lula Lake and Lookout Incline Railway No.2-now operated as the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Incline No. 1 was replaced by Incline No. 2 in 1895 which as a grade as steep as 72.7% at the top of the mountain. Now that's a scary grade!
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
UTA_flyinghigh
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RE: SoCal Railroad Enthusiast (Part IV?)

Fri Jun 24, 2005 6:40 pm

Strange that Jer has not replied to this, being a train enthusiast et al.

UTA  checkeredflag 
Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
 
Superfly
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RE: SoCal Railroad Enthusiast (Part IV?)

Tue Jun 28, 2005 3:07 am

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 16):
That honor belongs to the Lula Lake and Lookout Incline Railway No.2-now operated as the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Incline No. 1 was replaced by Incline No. 2 in 1895 which as a grade as steep as 72.7% at the top of the mountain. Now that's a scary grade!

Wow I did a search and that is impressive!  Wow!
However, it's not as long as the Mt. Lowe incline.
Bring back the Concorde

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