Copyright 1997-2015 Pacific Railroad Society, Inc.
CAR 1559 by RALPH MELCHING
Los Angeles Transit Lines car number 1559 is one of sixty cars (1501-1560) constructed in Los Angeles Railway's shops during 1923 and 1924. Except for the tie rods, the bodies appear to be identical to the steel-bodied Type H, but had only steel underframes, with the rest of the bodies constructed of wood covered by steel sheathing.
The following were the car's specifications: Designated Type K, Trucks- St. Louis N-69, 5' 9" wheelbase, Motors- four Westinghouse 514L, Control- Westinghouse HL15-B master controller, G3 control box, 184-A8 reverser, Compressor- Westinghouse DH-16, S-16 governor, Brake system- Westinghouse SME M-18-A brake valve, D-1 emergency valve, Couplers- Westinghouse K-1-A automatic car, air and electric (600 volt jumper cable permitted operation of the second car with trolley down), Ohmer fare register (Replaced by Johnson fare box in 1930), and the cars were painted yellow with brown trim.
Because these cars were assigned, initially, to the Eagle Rock- Hawthorne Line, at night a red lantern was displayed on the rear. All sixty cars were converted to one man- two man (Type K-4) in 1936 and 1937. Electro-pneumatically-operated, double folding-doors and steps with full safety features were installed front and rear. New interior lighting was installed, and the automatic couplers were removed. The cars were painted yellow, black, and silver.
Following Los Angeles Transit Lines' takeover in 1945, the cars were painted yellow with green trim. Skirting was applied to the ends of the cars (and to the sides of some of them) and the Eclipse fenders were replaced by lifeguards.
Car 1559 last saw service on May 22, 1955, on Line W, the last day of operation to York Blvd. and Avenue 50. PRS members, who were on its final trip, set about to acquire the car, and through their efforts, and generous contributions, it was purchased by the Society for $200. It was moved to Travel Town in Griffith Park on August 26, 1955.
Travel Town proved to be an insecure location for 1559; accordingly, in 1959 it was moved to the Orange Empire Trolley Museum. Enthusiastic volunteers started work immediately on restoration of the car, and some work on the interior was done before interest waned. Another effort was made in 1965 when money was appropriated to reroof the car and to advance OERM's first carbarn project. In 1968 the car was reroofed and painted, and work on the interior was resumed.
Car 1559 was eventually afforded protection from the elements in Carbarn No. 1. Upon completion of Carbarn No. 3 in 1983, the car was moved in with the Descanso, but it has since been returned to Carbarn No. 1 at what is now Orange Empire Railway Museum.
Car 1559 Streetcar was donated to OERM
Pacific Railroad Society, Inc., 210 W. Bonita Ave., San Dimas, CA 91773