Re: Old UP "mainline" is the "back way" to old Eighth Street and the Times docks...
Date: 11-13-2023 - 18:09
The segment that cross nder the freeway is the "old" "back way" from J yard, or from the UP across old Redondo Tower to Eighth Street and the site of the old UP feight house. This was originally a double tracked segment, complete with a "manned" grade crossing tower at Olympic (until at least 1969), that connected the UP to LA's Grand Central Station, which was located between 4th and 6th Street on South Alameda Street, where it served both the SP and the UP until LAUPT was constructed and "got the trains out of the streets", in the 1930's. This was UP's primary passenger connection to LA at one time.
I surveyed all of these tracks for a job I did for the City of LA back around 2010 photographing track condions, documenting usageof spurs, and what was still in service on Alameda Street from north of the Alameda Corridor to Little Tokyo. including such famous spurs and "violet alley", and the "rat hole". There was almost nothing north of 8th street, and only 2 operable switches down below coming off of leads from the back way, which had not recieved cars in several years. There was still a conection across the "street" to the "old" PE side at the produce market, which had been cut in when the PE side was abandonned with the construction of the Blue Line, but it was also unused by then.
I actually worked the "street" jobs a lot on old Alameda Street, including Christmas trees, and Times paper cars, as 8th Street, the old "bannana dock", the old "auto dock", the old "coach yard", so it was both ironic, and sad that I got to document the end of rail on the street, so LA could get funding to remove a lot of the old tracks and repair the streets.
Pork noodles at the Atomic Cafe, with cops, bail bondsmen, prostitutes, punk rockers, Times printers, and railroaders, with the engine tied up in the middle of Alameda, working the "rat hole" or the "street" job, at 3 am, is an experience to remember about an old LA now long gone...