Los Angeles Railway (1895-1958)

The Los Angeles Railway (also known as Yellow CarsLARy and later Los Angeles Transit Lines) was a system of streetcars that operated in Central Los Angeles and surrounding neighborhoods between 1895 and 1958. The agency removed the remaining five streetcar lines (J, P, R, S and V) and two trolley bus lines (2 and 3), replacing electric service with diesel buses after March 31, 1963.

The system provided frequent local services which complemented the Pacific Electric “Red Car” system‘s largely commuter-based interurban routes. The company carried many more passengers than the Red Cars, which served a larger and sparser area of Los Angeles.

Context for Los Angeles Railway chronology in our interactive timeline

Context for Los Angeles Railway predecessors and successors in our interactive “family tree” transit organization chart.

Much more information can be found on the Wikipedia entry for Los Angeles Railway.


Los Angeles Railway company records: Our finding aid via Online Archive of California

Manuscripts and reports, as well as information pertaining to the Board of Directors and Stockholders, contracts, construction, divisions, yards, shops, equipment, financial records, maps and routes, public relations, facilities, employees and other records comprising 53 boxes (14.6 linear feet)

Two Bells, the Los Angeles Railway (1920-1955) employee news magazine issues available here (PDF).

Images: Los Angeles Railway albums via Flickr

General | Events | Facilities | Non-Rail Maintenance Vehicles | People | Streetcars | Streetcar Lines | Weekly Topics | World War II

Film and video:

“It’s a Big Job” — Los Angeles Railway Trolley Motorman & Bus Driver recruiting film (1947)


1900 | 1922 | 1927 | 1928 | 1938 | 1944

Los Angeles Railway key text resources

1923: Report on some of the Problems of Operation of the Los Angeles Railway

1944: Types of Passenger Cars