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Finding aid for the Los Angeles Railway Records
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Custodial History
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Other Finding Aids
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Los Angeles Railway records
    Dates: 1890 - 1946
    Bulk Dates: 1890 - 1930
    Collection number: 73-DPGTL
    Creator: Los Angeles Railway
    Collection Size: 53 boxes 14.6 linear feet
    Repository: Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive
    Los Angeles, CA 90012-2952
    Abstract: Los Angeles Railway Corporation (LARy) operated local streetcar service from 1895 to 1945. Originally owned and expanded by Henry Huntington, the Los Angeles Railway was sold to National City Lines in 1945, becoming the Los Angeles Transit Lines. The records in this collection were created between 1890 and 1946 and consist of correspondence, reports, contracts, deeds, photographs, maps, and employee news magazines.
    Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Please contact the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive for information on collection access and restrictions.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement that may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive collections.

    Preferred Citation

    Los Angeles Railway records, 73-DPGTL. Dorothy Payton Grey Transportation Library.

    Acquisition Information

    The Los Angeles Railway Corporation established an employee library in 1890. This material was passed through a series of mergers and legislation from the Los Angeles Railway to Los Angeles Transit Lines to the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority, to the Southern California Rapid Transit District (SCRTD). Material held by the SCRTD and the Rail Construction Corporation was passed on to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) after LACMTA was created by the California State Legislature through a merger of the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission and the Southern California Rapid Transit District.


    No further accruals are expected.

    Custodial History

    Los Angeles Railway had an employee library, and some of the material from that library became part of the library established by the Southern California Rapid Transit District (SCRTD) in 1971. SCRTD's library and its materials were retained by the successor agency, Los Angeles County Transportation Authority.

    Biography / Administrative History

    The Los Angeles Railway Corporation (LARy) began as the Los Angeles Consolidated Electric Railway (LACE). LACE was incorporated in 1890 and soon began converting cable car and horse car lines to electric streetcar lines. In 1895, LACE bondholders renamed the company, the Los Angeles Railway Company. Complete electrification of the LARy system was reached in early 1896. Distinguished from the farther reaching Pacific Electric Railway (PE)Company's streetcars by vehicle color, LARy was also known as the Yellow Cars of Los Angeles. Service was largely focused in downtown Los Angeles. In 1898, Henry Huntington became the biggest investor in LARy and continued to expand the streetcar system. To compete against growing bus companies, LARy and PE created the Los Angeles Motor Coach Company to provide bus service throughout Los Angeles. Henry Huntington died in 1927 but controlling interest in LARy remained part of the Huntington estate until 1945 when the Fitzgerald Brothers purchased those shares. LARy became part of the National City Lines, was renamed the Los Angeles Transit Lines (LATL).

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection is comprised of documents generated by the operation of Los Angeles Railway Corporation from 1890 to 1946. This includes drafts and final copies of trust deeds/mortgages, contracts made with stockholders, banks, and other corporations such as the Southern California Power Company. Also included are check stubs, correspondence, accounting documents, and handwritten notes.


    This collection is arranged in fifteen series. 1. Board of Directors and Stockholders, 1895 - 1899. 2. Contracts, Decrees, Deeds, and Agreements, 1890 - 1943. 3. Construction, 1898. 4. Corporate Culture, 1898 - 1942. 5. Correspondence, September 1894 - January 1899. 6. Divisions, Yards, and Shops, n.d. 7. Equipment, 1939 - 1940. 8. Female Employees, 1942 - 1945. 9. Financial Records, 1895 - 1943. 10. Maps and Routes, 1932 - 1945. 11. Public Relations, 1921 - 1944. 12. Reports, 1930 - 1946. 13. Tickets and Transfers, 1940 - 1941. 14. Two Bells, 1920 - 1944. 15. Miscellaneous, 1890 - 1898.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Los Angeles Railway
    Los Angeles (Calif.)--1880-1890.

    Other Finding Aids

    A more detailed container list is available in this repository.

    Related Material

    Materials created by and related to the Pacific Electric Railway Company, Los Angeles Motor Coach Company, and Los Angeles Transit Lines may be found in this repository.