Herriman Saturday

Sunday, March 29 1908 — The independently owned trolley systems of Los Angeles were under seige by the Southern Pacific railway at this time. The trolley system was so widespread in the area that the railroad worried that they would eventually be able to consolidate, add freight service, and thus make competition for SP. SP’s answer to the problem was to try to buy up the trolley companies, a plan that worked rather well. By 1911, they had purchased the biggest fish in the pond, and that was the beginning of the very slow breakdown of the trolleys. SP kept them running, but they rarely invested any money except in lines that would have potential for freight carriage.

There’s a lot to the story of the LA trolleys, way more than I can even hint at here. Try this short but informative history on for size, dust off your videotape of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and read about an attempt to bring the streetcars back to L.A.

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