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San Fernando (Pacific Electric)

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Covid-19
Type  Light rail
Locale  Southern California
Opened  1911
System  Pacific Electric
Stations  36
San Fernando (Pacific Electric)
Termini  Downtown Los Angeles San Fernando, California

The San Fernando Line was a part of the Pacific Electric Railway system in Los Angeles County, California. It was designed to increase the reach of public transportation from the Downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood into the San Fernando Valley, to support land speculation and development expanding Los Angeles.

Contents

Southern San Fernando Valley line

In 1911–1912, a 20 miles (32 km) interurban electric railway was built from Lankershim (present day North Hollywood), the terminus of an existing line from over the Cahuenga Pass from Hollywood, westward through the entire southern San Fernando Valley property of the Los Angeles Suburban Homes Company syndicate, to promote and support small farm and residential property sales. The syndicate was led by Harry Chandler, with partners General Moses Sherman, Isaac Van Nuys, Hobart Johnstone Whitley, and James Boon Lankershim. The project was initiated in anticipation of the Los Angeles aqueduct opening in 1913, which would bring water for residential and irrigated agricultural development in the syndicate's San Fernando Valley holdings (and citywide). The syndicate is the Los Angeles land speculation group dramatized in the movie Chinatown.

The partner General Moses Sherman directed the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad electric railway line's construction. It ran from Lankershim to the three new towns the syndicate's partner Hobart Johnstone Whitley had planned for the valley, Van Nuys, Marion (present day Reseda), and Owensmouth (present day Canoga Park and West Hills). The tracks ran in the middle of Sherman Way, a broad new 'lavishly landscaped' and paved avenue to the Owensmouth terminus.

Northern San Fernando Valley spur

In addition, the San Fernando Mission Land Company of Charles Maclay and George K. Porter, which owned much of the northern San Fernando Valley (north of Roscoe Boulevard), built an electric railway spur line north from Van Nuys, to connect their undeveloped land and the City of San Fernando with the Pacific Electric system. From San Fernando, the southbound route followed Brand Boulevard, Sepulveda Boulevard, Parthenia Place, and then Van Nuys Boulevard from present day Panorama City to Van Nuys. Remnants of the right of way include center medians on Brand Boulevard, and roundabouts at the Parthenia Place and Sherman Circle/Van Nuys Boulevard turns.

References

San Fernando (Pacific Electric) Wikipedia


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