Fullerton Line

The Fullerton Line was an interurban route of the Pacific Electric Railway. It ran between Downtown Los Angeles and Fullerton, California. It opened in 1917 and saw freight service until the 1940s.

OwnerSouthern Pacific Railroad
LocaleLos Angeles, the Gateway Cities and Orange County
TerminiDowntown Los Angeles
Fullerton, California
SystemPacific Electric
Operator(s)Pacific Electric
Rolling stockPE 220 Class (last used)
Ridership100,105 (1926)
ClosedJanuary 22, 1938 (passenger)
late 1940s (freight)
Number of tracks1–4
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification600 V DC Overhead lines
Route map

 B   F   G   O 
Pacific Electric Building
Edendale Local
 H   J   R   S 
 B   F   G   O 
Vernon Avenue
Slauson Junction
Huntington Park
Rio Hondo
Downey Road
Los Nietos
Walnut Avenue
Des Moines
La Habra
Loan Junction
Alta Mar
North Bastanchury
South Bastanchury
Spadra Road
Harvard Avenue
Santa Fe
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway


The line, among the electric railway's final expansions,[1] was not originally intended for passenger service unless a connection to Orange was completed. Despite this, the route was opened for service in 1917.[2][3] Pacific Electric spent $425,000 on the extension from La Habra to Fullerton ($8.99 million in 2021 adjusted for inflation).[4]

In 1935, PE reported losses on the line of $1,610 for travel in the previous year (equivalent to $32,613 in 2021).[5] PE discontinued passenger service on the line on January 22, 1938.[6][7] Landowners along the line petitioned for its closure in 1939,[8] but freight traffic on the line continued until the late 1940s.[9]

One of the more prominent landmarks on the line was a concrete arch bridge over Harbor Boulevard that was emblazoned with a message welcoming visitors to Fullerton. The bridge was razed in 1964 to ease clearances for trucks.[10]

Part of the former line became a section of the Juanita Cooke Greenbelt & Trail.[2] The West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor light rail project is expected to use a section of the line between Slauson and the former Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad right of way.


The Fullerton Line followed the Long Beach Line from Los Angeles south to Slauson Junction (south of Slauson Boulevard) where it branched off in an easterly direction to Whittier and Yorba Linda. From there, the double track line ran easterly, in private way between dual roadways of Randolph Street, through Huntington Park, Vernon, Bell, and Maywood to reach the Los Angeles River. Crossing the river, the double track in private way followed intermittent sections of Randolph Street through Bell Gardens and Commerce, and crossed the Rio Hondo south of Slauson Avenue.

The line continued easterly, south and parallel to, Slauson Avenue. Across the Pico Rivera area and the San Gabriel River into Los Nietos, where the line crossed the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Third District main line (Los Nietos) at Norwalk Boulevard. The single track La Habra–Fullerton–Yorba Linda Line branched easterly in private way off the Whittier Line at Los Nietos, crossed Norwalk Boulevard and went through Whittier at the south edge of the city limits. After crossing Mills Avenue the track ran adjacent to and north of Lambert Road until crossing 1st Street. Here the line turned easterly through La Habra to Laon Junction (3rd Avenue at College Street), where the single track Fullerton Line branched to the south.

List of major stationsEdit

Station Major connections Date opened Date closed City
Pacific Electric Building Alhambra–San Gabriel, Annandale, Balboa, Hawthorne–El Segundo, La Habra–Yorba Linda, Long Beach, Monrovia–Glendora, Mount Lowe, Pasadena Short Line, Pasadena via Oak Knoll, Pomona, Redlands, Redondo Beach via Gardena, Riverside–Rialto, San Pedro via Dominguez, San Pedro via Gardena, Santa Ana, Santa Monica Air Line, Sierra Madre, Soldiers' Home, South Pasadena Local, Upland–San Bernardino, Whittier
Los Angeles Railway B, H, J, R, 7, and 8
1905 1961 Los Angeles
Amoco[dubious ] Balboa, Hawthorne–El Segundo, La Habra–Yorba Linda, Long Beach, Redondo Beach via Gardena, San Pedro via Dominguez, San Pedro via Gardena, Santa Ana, Santa Monica Air Line, Soldiers' Home, Whittier 1902 1961
Slauson Junction Balboa, Hawthorne–El Segundo, La Habra–Yorba Linda, Long Beach, Redondo Beach via Gardena, San Pedro via Dominguez, San Pedro via Gardena, Santa Ana, Whittier 1902 1961
Los Nietos La Habra–Yorba Linda, Whittier 1903 1941 Santa Fe Springs
La Habra La Habra–Yorba Linda 1911 1938 La Habra
Fullerton Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad 1917 1938 Fullerton


  This article incorporates text from a free content work. Licensed under the public domain as a work of the State of California. License statement/permission. Text taken from 1981 Inventory of Pacific Electric Routes, California Department of Transportation, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. To learn how to add open license text to Wikipedia articles, please see this how-to page. For information on reusing text from Wikipedia, please see the terms of use.

  1. ^ Crump, Spencer (1977). Ride the big red cars: How trolleys helped build southern California. Trans-Anglo Books. p. 101. ISBN 0-87046-047-1. OCLC 3414090.
  2. ^ a b Yanity, Brian (May 16, 2019). "Fullerton, Rail Town: The Pacific Electric Railway". Fullerton Observer. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  3. ^ Veysey, Laurence R. (June 1958). A History Of The Rail Passenger Service Operated By The Pacific Electric Railway Company Since 1911 And By Its Successors Since 1953 (PDF). LACMTA (Report). Los Angeles, California: Interurbans. pp. 28, 29. ASIN B0007F8D84.
  4. ^ "Pacific Electric Depot, 1918". City of Fullerton. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Curtailment Of P. E. Service To Brea Requested". Santa Ana Register. May 24, 1935. p. 2 – via Newspapers.com.  
  6. ^ "La Habra-Yorba Linda-Fullerton Line". Electric Railway Historical Association of Southern California. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  7. ^ "Pacific Electric Railway: "Comfort, Speed, Safety"". American-rails.com. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  8. ^ "Fullerton May Lose Rail Line". Los Angeles Times. October 29, 1939. p. 52 – via Newspapers.com.  
  9. ^ "Pacific Electric Depot, 1918 - Il Ghiotto Restaurant". City of Fullerton. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  10. ^ "Still intersecting FJC was "Boxcar Avenue," the Pacific Electric Railway's right-of-way through the campus". Fullerton College Library. 2012. Retrieved June 1, 2020.