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  #1  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 2:02 AM
Chicano3000X Chicano3000X is offline
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Mysterious old train tracks near where I live. Remnants of L.A.'s street car system?

I'm wondering if this is the remains of a street car system(they paved over it, but it can still be seeing going into the warehouse property).

It's very close to where I live. It's on alger just by the train tracks running along san fernando bordering atwater villiage with Glendale. It's by the huge ralph's warehouse.

Here is a pic I took:


Google maps:
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=W+San+...nia+90039&z=21

Street View:
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=W+San+...12,211.16,,0,0
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  #2  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 2:36 AM
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Since the tracks seem to connect a warehouse property with a main line, in a largely industrial area, it's most likely that they once led to a loading dock at the warehouse or factory, where freight cars would be loaded. Abandoned railroad sidings can actually be a very common sight in old industrial cities.
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  #3  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 3:13 AM
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Yeah, I'm guessing it's a siding. Streetcar tracks usually ran perfectly parallel as to not disrupt other traffic and would have more circular turns and grand unions.
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  #4  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 4:18 AM
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no one would believe that at one time la had the best or one of the best transit systems in the usa!
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  #5  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 6:50 AM
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These are relics of the pre-intermodal era, however both this and another spur slightly to the north are both on a 1955 Southern Pacific system map. (be nice to retiring people, they give you cool stuff their wives don't want them to bring home) It would appear the Ralph's warehouse was built immediately above the visible spur and over the more northerly one.

The map only describes the site as a factory. Maybe a wartime aircraft factory because of its proximity to Grand Central Airport.
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  #6  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 8:49 AM
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Actually, very recently I stumbled upon quite a few of these tracks in google. Los Angeles has a lot of odd shaped warehouses that are curved on the end. Not to hard to see that they all used to be spur lines.

http://g.co/maps/dj56y

The lines disregard the grid.

http://g.co/maps/dwjye

http://g.co/maps/99b4q

You can even see that they're using those same lines to build the new light rail lines on the same pathway (note the parallel cracks in the pavement).

http://g.co/maps/6sfcf
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  #7  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 10:36 AM
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Nice map grabs AnimatedMartian, case well made.
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  #8  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 2:27 PM
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Those are definitely industrial sidings. You see those a lot in Chicago near both current and former industrial corridors.

You do also see a lot of old streetcar tracks, but they only really appear during street reconstruction projects.

For example, here are some they tore up during street work near my office a few months back:

by me

And directly outside my office, leading onto a bridge.

by me
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  #9  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 8:53 PM
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Yea I think since roads are paved over more often depending on the city, streetcar lines are harder to find and not really as noticeable. When I was growing up, this intersection in Detroit had exposed streetcar lines. It's since been repaved many times but I'm not sure if the rails were ever removed. Probably not.

http://g.co/maps/nnmrr

There's still some exposed on the southwest side of the city though.

http://g.co/maps/ek9zs

And some better preserved ones in Philadelphia.

http://g.co/maps/7ssy5

As other posters mentioned, streetcar lines typically follow the flow of traffic whereas freight lines had their own right-of-way.
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  #10  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 9:23 PM
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The Philadelphia example falls under "industrial spur"--not "streetcar tracks".
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  #11  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 10:02 PM
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Ah I kinda see. I'm thrown off by the perpendicular tracks down the street. But then farther down on the next block, it connects to a huge industrial building and there's even a passenger train car at the end of the line. Interesting spot.
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  #12  
Old Posted May 24, 2012, 3:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animatedmartian View Post
Ah I kinda see. I'm thrown off by the perpendicular tracks down the street. But then farther down on the next block, it connects to a huge industrial building and there's even a passenger train car at the end of the line. Interesting spot.
While not too close to you, you can see some old Red Car tracks on Lincoln in Santa Monica. I can't remember the cross street for the life of me, but it is in the southern section of the city very near the Marie Callender's.
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  #13  
Old Posted May 24, 2012, 4:59 PM
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  #14  
Old Posted May 24, 2012, 7:20 PM
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These are all over Houston's East End, including some that are really close to the new rail lines being built. I've always found it interesting that they just chose to pave over them, instead of removal.
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