Streecars & Trains


The first railroad to lay track in Hollywood was the Los Angeles Ostrich Farm Railway Company.  The line connected Los Angeles with Dr. C.J. Sketchley”s Ostrich Farm on the Ranch Los Feliz at what is now Griffith Park. The fisrt train ran September 25, 1887.  Work began almost immediately on extensions of the line westward to Santa Monica and northward to Burbank. Both were completed by the end of 1888. The first train to reach the Santa Monica bluffs was on Christmas day.


At about the same time, James McLaughlin incorporated the Cahuenga Valley Railroad, bought the Los Angeles Second Street Railroad and continued its line west to Wilcox Ave., in Hollywood. The line was sold again in 1894 and the new owners planned to extend the tracks to Laurel Canyon.  Residents, however, threatened action to prevent it from being built, so the Cahuenga Valley Railroad decided to build first and argue about it later. On a Friday night, after county offices closed, precluding the possibility of an injunction, a section crew preceding flat cars of ties and rails appeared at the Wilcox Avenue terminus and went to work.  By Monday morning the line had passed down Highland Avenue to Sunset Blvd. and was on its way west.  During the next week, it reached Laurel Canyon.  The angry residents could only stare in frustration at the fait accompli.


General Moses Hazeltine Sherman, a wealthy Phoenix capitalist, arrived in Los Angeles in 1890 and became interested in the primitive electric railway lines running throughout the city. Within weeks, he purchased control of the rickety Pico Street Electric Railway line, Southern California’s first railroad system. From this beginning, he built, over the next five years, a network of electric street railway lines in the city under the name Los Angeles Consolidated Electric Railway Company.  The General brought in his brother-in-law, Eli Clark, into the management as an associate, and gradually an effective working partnership evolved, with Clark as the front man and Sherman as the money man. 


Between June 17, 1895 and May 7, 1896, Sherman and Clark acquired several railway companies, including the Cahuenga Valley Railroad Company.  The acquisitions proved to be too much, too fast, and on March 23, 1895, Sherman lost control of Los Angeles Consolidated Electric, when bond holders assumed direction of the financially harassed operation.  Sherman, however, retained approximately fifty-percent stock ownership of the company, as well as full ownership of the Pasadena and Los Angeles Electric Railway Company and the Pasadena and Pacific Railroad Company.


On June 4, 1998 Sherman and Clark incorporated a new company.  The Los Angeles Pacific Railroad Company which took over the financially troubled Pasadena and Pacific line.


The Los Angeles Pacific Railroad was the first to establish the Balloon Route Excursion which ran from Los Angeles to Hollywood to Santa Monica and then back to Los Angeles. When the streetcars arrived in Hollywood, the passengers disembarked and visited the home of the famous artist, Paul DeLongpre.  They toured the artist’s gallery and could purchase paintings. This was Hollywood’s first tourist attraction. 

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CAHUENGA VALLEY R.R. IN HOLLYWOOD
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Cahuenga Valley Railroad in Hollywood
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Cahuenga Valley Railroad in Hollywood
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Cahuenga Valley Railroad in Hollywood
Streecars & TrainsCAHUENGA VALLEY R.R. IN HOLLYWOOD
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1893
Streecars & TrainsCahuenga Valley Railroad in Hollywood
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1888
Streecars & TrainsCahuenga Valley Railroad in Hollywood
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1890
Streecars & TrainsCahuenga Valley Railroad in Hollywood
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1894
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Cahuenga Valley Railroad in Hollywood
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EARLY STREET CAR ON HOLLYWOOD
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Los Angeles Pacific RR's ticket office on Hollywood Blvd. & Ivar St.
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HOLLYWOOD STREETCAR
Streecars & TrainsCahuenga Valley Railroad in Hollywood
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1895
Streecars & TrainsEARLY STREET CAR ON HOLLYWOOD
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1905
Streecars & TrainsLos Angeles Pacific RR's ticket office on Hollywood Blvd. & Ivar St.
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1909
Streecars & TrainsHOLLYWOOD STREETCAR
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1909
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President Taft in Hollywood
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Trackless trolley going up Laurel Canyon
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TRACKLESS TROLLEY IN HOLLYWOOD
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Trackless trolley on Laurel Canyon
Streecars & TrainsPresident Taft in Hollywood
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1910
Streecars & TrainsTrackless trolley going up Laurel Canyon
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1913
Streecars & TrainsTRACKLESS TROLLEY IN HOLLYWOOD
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1914
Streecars & TrainsTrackless trolley on Laurel Canyon
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1914