Re: Old UP "mainline" is the "back way" to old Eighth Street and the Times docks...
Date: 11-14-2023 - 08:15
> 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...
Your stories about working Alameda St. made me curious enough to Google earth it. Lots of traces of rail still left. Including one warehouse next to the street that has a long disconnected spur running the full length of the building next to the sidewalk. Traces of railroad ROW are easy to spot on Google earth. It's the radius coming off a straight line that identifies it. Many building have one corner built on that radius to allow the minimum curve for the spur. You see this all across America in older industrial sections of big cities. It's interesting that the few working spurs left are usually for tank cars or hoppers. Spurs holding boxcars are extremely rare except for short lines. Railroads want customers to use intermodal and save the cost of switch crews spotting cars but think of all the business lost as the railroads become less and less relevant.