Pacific Electric at San Fernando

Southern California Layout Design

by Bruce Petty

Part of model railroading is the layout design, and I have spent many an evening with pencil and paper designing layouts thinking what would be good addition to my existing HO scale layout. Not that I can use all these plans in my layout room, but I can share them by posting on the webpage for other modelers to check out.

Map by John Signor for the Spring 2001, Trainline.

The Pacific Electric a one time had a small island operation at the city of San Fernando that served a number of lemon and orange packing houses. Originally the rail line had overhead wire that went all the way to LA via crossing the Coast Line tracks on Van Nuys Blvd. (there was a tower), and on to the North Hollywood depot. That part of the line was cut back in 1941, leaving four only miles left of the line connected with the SP interchange at San Fernando.

I designed this layout extension close to the prototype as it was during the early 1960s. I remember it well, but didn't take any photographs myself. The PE use to park a GE 44 ton switcher near the SP interchange. On the prototype there was also an SP, Alco, switch engine with a caboose stationed at San Fernando that was used for the Saugus Turn and worked down the Sun Valley. On the layout it can be used to switch cars on the SP spur tracks to industries at San Fernando.

Scenery for the PE branch would be Eucalyptus trees along Brand Blvd. along with orange and lemon groves. The Mission San Fernando and palm trees would be painted on the backdrop as it would add atmosphere to the scene. I've posted this photo of Mission San Fernando I had taken about 1964.




Southern California Web Page for the Citrus Industry

Historic Packing Houses by James Lancaster


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