Downtown Trolleys

The Los Angeles Railway (also Yellow Cars, LARy, latterly Los Angeles Transit Lines) was a system of streetcars that operated in central Los Angeles and the immediate surrounding neighborhoods between 1901 and 1963. The company carried many more passengers than the Pacific Electric Railway’s ‘Red Cars’, which served a larger area of Los Angeles. The system was purchased by railroad and real estate tycoon Henry E. Huntington in 1898 and started operation in 1901 to serve the 102,479 Los Angeles residents. At its height, the system contained over 20 streetcar lines and 1,250 trolleys, most running through the core of Los Angeles and serving such nearby neighborhoods as Little Tokyo, Echo Park, Westlake, Hancock Park, Exposition Park, West Adams, the Crenshaw district, Vernon, Boyle Heights and Lincoln Heights. The image on the left is of the Los Angeles Railway’s P Line trolley crossing Alameda Street at 1st Street in Little Tokyo, a few blocks northwest of Azusa Street, as it heads for Boyle Heights in circa 1918.