PACIFIC ELECTRIC RAILWAY, THEN & NOW

Pacific Electric westbound freight train crossing the Southern Pacific tracks in El Monte in 1947. Today the PE tracks are gone, but Union Pacific freight and Metrolink commuter trains still run on the tracks running left and right in the old photo. Donald Duke Photo PERyhs.org

September 5, 2012 • 827 views

NEW EXHIBITION OPENING AUGUST 15 AT PASADENA MUSEUM OF HISTORY BRINGS FAMED RAILWAY BACK TO LIFE THROUGH IMAGES AND ARTIFACTS

The Pacific Electric Railway and its 1,100 miles of track connecting Southern California’s many diverse communities died out by the 1960’s, but Pasadena Museum of History will bring the famed railway back to life through images and artifacts in a new exhibition opening Wednesday, August 15 and running through January 13, 2012. Pacific Electric Railway, Then & Now, is based on the book of the same name by authors Steve Crise and Michael Patris.

“We are delighted that guest curators Steve Crise and Michael Patris are assembling a display that spotlights both treasures from the archives of the Mount Lowe Preservation Society as well as Steve Crise’s stunning photography,” said PMH Executive Director Jeannette O’Malley. “It is sure to be a draw for railroad enthusiasts and the general public, as was the popular Mount Lowe exhibition that Michael Patris curated at PMH in 2008.”

Aside from the nostalgia factor, “the Pacific Electric Railway has become more relevant in recent times due to the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s installation of light rail,” notes Patris. “While we can never go back to the Big Red Car routes and frequency of service we once enjoyed, many of the modern MTA lines follow what was once part of our everyday life.”

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