March 12: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

Second Street Cable Railroad

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  The Second Street Cable Railroad is incorporated.

It begins running on October 14, every 12 minutes on a single track 6,240 feet long.

The line contained the single steepest cable gradient in North America, 27.7% between Hope Street and Bunker Hill Avenue.

The cable railroad intersected the Los Angeles Cable Railway at 2nd Street and Fort (now Broadway).

It also connected with a steam line, the Cahuenga Valley Railroad, which ran to Hollywood.  The steam line was forced to cut back to the Los Angeles city limits, which hurt the Second Street company.

The company was short of cash throughout its life and it was especially hurt when it rained.

A strong storm on December 24, 1889 ruined the property beyond repair, and the Second Street Cable Railroad became the first operational cable car line to be abandoned.

Sunset Coast Line

Sunset Coast Line freeway median overhead tracks (Click to enlarge)

1976:  De Leuw, Cather & Company issues “Evaluation of Sunset Coast Line Proposal Executive Summary.“This is the firm’s final report on the feasibility of the proposed Sunset Coast Line Ltd. rapid transit system — Los Angeles County Supervisor Baxter Ward’s plan for a comprehensive 244-mile County-wide rail network just 13 years after what was once the world’s largest streetcar system went completely out of service.

The evaluation comes after De Leuw & Cather leads a team of engineers to report back to the Southern California Rapid Transit District.

Among the reported findings are access problems for passengers, automobiles and buses should the stations be located within freeway rights-of-way, especially where guideway interchanges would be constructed at freeway interchanges.