• Best Pacific Electric Resources?

  • This forum is for discussion of "Fallen Flag" roads not otherwise provided with a specific forum. Fallen Flags are roads that no longer operate, went bankrupt, or were acquired or merged out of existence.
This forum is for discussion of "Fallen Flag" roads not otherwise provided with a specific forum. Fallen Flags are roads that no longer operate, went bankrupt, or were acquired or merged out of existence.

Moderator: Nicolai3985

  by Komachi
Hey guys,

Like many my age, I went and saw "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" when I was a kid (I was twelve at the time), and have been enamored with the Pacific Electric since then. (I've also been enamored with redheads since then, because of Jessica Rabbit, but that's a totally different discussion :-D :wink: :P !)

Anyway, I have a wild hair (no pun intended) to start building some Pacific Electric equipment for a future O scale traction layout. I've browsed around the internet looking at various sites and whatnot, but I thought I'd ask the PE guys out there what they consider to be the best resources on the subject. Books, DVDs, etc.

I appreciate any feedback you guys can give me on this, thanks!
  by russp
There is a whole bunch of material out there covering the PE....I'm not into modeling so I don't know about that aspect per se. Having said that, a lot of the publications are out of print....the newer publications seem to focus more on picture albums rather than technical stuff. Take a look at the Orange Empire Railway Museum web site and the Southern California Electric Railway Historical Society web site. Both are heavily PE oriented. I think the SoCal ERHS web site is linked to the OERM web page. They or their web sites should be able to direct you to car diagrams and other technical drawings for modeling purposes.
  by pennsy
Good idea. OERM has quite a bit of PE equipment, and you can contact them via e mail for information, questions, etc. They can tell you which companies to contact, or their websites, to shop for their equipment. The OERM website has some great photos of the PE equipment.
  by Aa3rt
Komachi-I hate to ask the obvious, but did you try a Google search on Pacific Electric?

Links to the previously mentioned websites and a few more:

The Pacific Electric page of the Electric Railway Historical Association of Southern California


Lots of prototype PE photos at Davesrailpix (probably one of the best sources for traction photos on the 'Net)


There's also a Yahoo Group dedicated to the Pacific Electric Railway that appears to be fairly active: (Discussion of modeling PE topics mentioned in the group description.)


And, as both russp and Pennsy have both suggested, check out the OREM website. As a young Coast Guardsman stationed in San Diego in the mid-1970's I made a trip to the OREM and was favorably impressed with their efforts. I trust that things have only gotten better over the ensuing 30+ years.


OREM Pacific Electric page:

  by AndyB
Over the years The Car Works from Warren, NJ imported a number of "O" Scale Pacific Electric cars. Keep an eye on E-Bay, occasionally one will show up.
The East Penn Traction Club at http://www.eastpenn.org has a lot of information on layout construction. While primiarly module construction some of the info can be used for a home layout.
  by Otto Vondrak
Komachi wrote:Like many my age, I went and saw "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" when I was a kid (I was twelve at the time), and have been enamored with the Pacific Electric since then.
Same here. How were the trolley scenes from Who Framed Roger Rabbit filmed? And what about the building where the trolleys were, was that supposed to be PE's LA terminal?
  by Komachi

I have, indeed, done a Google search and have read a little of the Orarnge Empire Railway Museum and Electric Railway Historical Association of Southern California sites, as well as viewing the various collections on Dave's site. I'm looking for other resources, such as books and film footage, etc. to augment what I've already read/seen.


If you go to the Dave's Rail Pix site, there's a group on there that feature the filming of the cars in "Who Shot Roger Rabbit." Or, just click here...


According to other sites, there was only one real PE streetcar used in the filming. This car was converted into a bus-like vehicle and rode on rubber tires. I can't tell you which scene it appears in, other than possibly rolling past outside the window of the bar (although, I think that was just a mock-up of the roof and trolley poles rolling by...). I've also read that the Hollywood cars were props, and were also diesel powered vehicles running on rubber tires.


I've looked at the East Penn Traction site and am impressed with their layout. Mine will be a tad smaller, however. I've also read the clinics on the Trollyville site and have the O'Dell Traction project layout featured in Model Railorader back in '89 (one of the things that planted the seed for this new layout). While the latter two resources are HO, the lessions should be appliciable to O scale. The only advantage being that HO modelers have Richard Orr's street trackage to work with, whereas most O scale traction guys have told me that I will have to fabricate my own.

But, I'll leave the modeling questions and commentary for the Model Railroading Forum.


Thanks for the responses guys, it's much appreciated. If any other PE guys want to chat, drop me a PM. :-D
  by Komachi

I watched the flick again last night, and I saw the 1000-series car, it ran in the background when Eddie is riding on the rear fender/platform of the Hollywood car after he takes the "snoop job" from R.K. Maroon.


Otto, I believe the building is supposed to be the terminal building for the PE Subway. If you look at this pic from Dave's site...


... you'll notice the sign above the door reads "Subway Terminal" on the lower line.
  by Komachi

Wouldn't you know, go to type a posting, and you can't locate information you want to use... only to stumble upon it at a later time. :P

Anyway, here's more on that 1000-series car...

This photo, again from Dave's site, shows car 1058 (which, according to the ERHA site, never existed), sitting on rubber tires...


Now, here's the site I wanted to reference, but couldn't find...


Car 1058 was cobled together from a 900-series car and operated on rubber tires. If I remember the story correctly, the guy who built it, Richard Fellows, and modified a few of the Hollywood cars (that he obtained from the salvage yard) to run as a tourist operation. However, the 1058 was the only one built to operational standards and was used in parades and whatnot. (And, again, was the only REAL PE car to be featured in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit").

The car was purchased by the Port of Los Angeles in 1999 and was placed back on railroad running gear. The front page of the LA Waterfront "Red Car" Line predominantly shows the 1058...


The waterfront also operates two replica 500-series cars as well.

Thought that might shed some light on how the streetcar scenes were filmed.
  by Otto Vondrak
I never knew PE equipment was painted and lettered for LAMTA:



I didn't know LAMTA operated any PE equipment, I thought they only took over the former LARy routes. I thought PE operated the Long Beach line to the end.