June 10: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

1916:  Pacific Electric Magazine debuts.

The publication serves as the “Big Red Cars” employee news magazine for more than 37 years before ceasing publication in October, 1953 when the agency dissolves and its assets transfer to Metropolitan Coach Lines.

More information can be found in the October, 1953 issue of Pacific Electric Magazine.


1926: Maude Campbell becomes the first woman commercial passenger on a regularly scheduled flight in the United States, flying from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles.

Maude goes on to work for Los Angeles Railway and Southern California Rapid Transit District before retiring in 1968.

More information can be found in the July 28, 1976 issue of Headway, the Southern California Rapid Transit District employee news magazine.


1985: Following an explosion caused by tunneling into a methane zone on 3rd Street near Fairfax Avenue on March 25, 1985 that injured 23 people, a report from the City of Los Angeles identifies zones of potential risk and high potential risk regarding tunneling for Metro Rail.

The city’s report classifies approximately 400 blocks overlying the “Salt Lake Oil Field” as “High Potential Methane Zone” as a result of the 1985 explosion and subsequent investigation.

An extensive history of the explosion and its aftermath utilizing Metro Research Library & Archive’s digital resources can be found in this KCET Lost LA post.

More information can be found in the Task Force Report on the March 24, 1985 Methane Gas Explosion and Fire in Fairfax Area, June 10, 1985 full-text report.

The Metro Rail project subsequently considers four possible alternative routes in order to avoid the methane field during tunneling.

More information on possible realignments can be found in the April, 1986 issue of the Southern California Rapid Transit District’s Metro News Bulletin.