Santa Ana Line

The Santa Ana Line was an interurban railway route of the Pacific Electric Railway, connecting Los Angeles and Santa Ana in Orange County.

Santa Ana
Pacific Electric "Red Car" 1216 to Santa Ana, 1940s.jpg
A PE train on San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, en route to Santa Ana in the 1940s
OwnerLos Angeles Interurban Railway (1905–1911)
Pacific Electric (1911–1953)
Metropolitan Coach Lines (1953–1958)
Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (1958)
Line number11 (to 1958)
34 (1958)
LocaleLos Angeles, and Orange County, California
TerminiDowntown Los Angeles
Santa Ana, California
Bellflower, California (after 1950)
SystemPacific Electric
Operator(s)Pacific Electric
Rolling stockPE 300-400 Class (last used)
OpenedNovember 6, 1905
ClosedJuly 2, 1950 (to Santa Ana)
May 24, 1958
Line length34 mi (55 km)
Number of tracks1–4[1]
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Electrification600 V DC Overhead lines
Route map

Pacific Electric Building
to Northern Division
 J   R   S 
 J   S 
Sierra Vista–Watts &
South Pasadena Local
Vernon Avenue
Slauson Junction
Florencito Park
end of
local service
Modjeska Park
Michigan Avenue
New York Avenue
after 1950
Woodruff Avenue
Palo Verde
Garden Grove
Willowick Golf Course
West Santa Ana
Santa Ana
Santa Ana SP Depot
Southern Pacific Transportation Company


The route began operation on November 6, 1905[2] under the Los Angeles Interurban Railway;[3] Pacific Electric leased the line starting in 1908 and purchased it in 1911 under terms of the Great Merger. The Santa Ana Line was designated as route number 11 during most of its operational life.[4] Santa Ana's status as the county seat and largest city in Orange County at the time allowed for high ridership.[citation needed] The railway built a new station in the city in late 1927, and cars were rerouted to serve it.[4]

Car 4508 in service on the line, c. 1943

Cars ceased running to the Santa Ana Southern Pacific Depot in November 1945. By 1950, service had halved from its peak only five years earlier and the line was cut back to a minor station in Bellflower on July 2,[4][5] becoming the Bellflower Line. (PE continued to serve the Bellflower to Santa Ana segment with motor coaches.[6]) The service was then disposed of by Pacific Electric, being taken over first by Metropolitan Coach Lines in 1953 before being commuted to the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority in 1958, the same year it was discontinued; the last train ran on May 24, 1958.[4] Bellflower Line service was briefly designated as line 34 for just over a month prior to discontinuance.[4]

Modern servicesEdit

The Los Angeles Metro Rail operates a few light rail lines over the former route. The A Line runs over the former Watts Line as far as Watts, and the C Line and Century Freeway were built through Lynwood on the old Pacific Electric right of way.

The West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor is a plan to reactivate part of the corridor in Los Angeles County for expanded light rail service.[7] The section between Bellflower station and former Paramount station will be rehabilitated and connected to a new service eventually terminating downtown, though via a different routing than the former Santa Ana Line.

The Orange County Streetcar is expected to open in 2022 and run on the southern section of the former Santa Ana Line between Santa Ana and Garden Grove.


The Santa Ana Line ran from the Pacific Electric Building in Los Angeles to the Southern Pacific depot in Santa Ana, California via the Watts Line and West Santa Ana Branch.[2] The latter segment's diagonal running was a stark contrast to the cardinally-aligned road grid of Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

The route was quadruple-tracked through the Watts trunk line, while the Santa Ana Branch was double-tracked except at single-track bridges.[1]

List of major stationsEdit

Modjeska Park station, c. 1900–1910
The first Bellflower Pacific Electric Depot, c. 1915
Station Mile
Major connections Date opened Date discontinued City
Pacific Electric Building 0.00 Alhambra–San Gabriel, Annandale, Balboa, Fullerton, 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 Monica Air Line, Sierra Madre, Soldiers' Home, South Pasadena Local, Upland–San Bernardino, Watts, Whittier
Los Angeles Railway B, H, J, R, 7, and 8
1905 1958 Los Angeles
Amoco[dubious ] Balboa, Fullerton, Hawthorne–El Segundo, La Habra–Yorba Linda, Long Beach, Redondo Beach via Gardena, San Pedro via Dominguez, San Pedro via Gardena, Santa Monica Air Line, Soldiers' Home, Watts, Whittier 1902 1958
Slauson Junction 4.27 Balboa, Fullerton, Hawthorne–El Segundo, La Habra–Yorba Linda, Long Beach, Redondo Beach via Gardena, San Pedro via Dominguez, San Pedro via Gardena, Watts, Whittier 1902 1958
Watts 7.45 Balboa, Hawthorne–El Segundo, Long Beach, Redondo Beach via Gardena, San Pedro via Dominguez, San Pedro via Gardena, Watts 1902 1958
Lynwood 9.70 1958 Lynwood
Morton 11.55 1958
Paramount (Clearwater) 13.06 1958 Paramount
Bellflower 15.40 1958 Bellflower
Artesia 18.43 1911 1950 Artesia
Cypress 21.70 1950
Stanton 24.82 1950
Garden Grove 28.56 1950 Garden Grove
Santa Ana–Pacific Electric 33.61 Santa Ana–Huntington Beach, Santa Ana–Orange 1927 1950 Santa Ana
Santa Ana–Southern Pacific 34.00 Southern Pacific 1945


Passengers (Fare and Transfer)[2]
Year Passengers Car Miles Revenue
1914 1,143,675 856,229 $291,282
1916 936,257 578,574 $225,501
1918 1,193,306 735,322 $243,536
1920 1,090,490 638,275 $268,927
1922 888,531 548,292 $297,578
1924 881,931 566,542 $313,478
1926 734,529 536.202 $255,610
1928 751,032 502,058 $230,200
1930 852,268 583,690 $219,719
1932 446,876 460,756 $132,140
1934 367,159 404,580 $104,190
1936 369,230 360,656 $106,812
1938 315,603 339,949 $95,354
1940 343,984 348,885 $81,612
1942 750,758 440,797 $199,061
1944 2,270,201 1,001,143 $590,800
1945 2,479,246 1,030,924 $635,905
1946 2,231,655 894,937 $501,139
1947 2,064,688 795,527 $492,843
1950 1,046,974 398,694 $277,422
1952 884,177 258,293 $235,566
1954 704,078 223,732 $222,140
1956 651,181 221,658 $240,198
1958 181,167 80,499 $71,681


  1. ^ a b "1981 Inventory of Pacific Electric Routes" (PDF). Caltrans. February 1982. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "Santa Ana Line". The Electric Railway Historical Association of Southern California. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  3. ^ Crise, Steve; Patris, Michael A. (2011). Pacific Electric Railway. Arcadia Publishing. p. 47. ISBN 9780738575865.
  4. ^ a b c d e f 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. 75–77. ASIN B0007F8D84.
  5. ^ Brightwell, Eric (27 August 2014). "Reimagining Garden Grove with Orange County's First Open Streets Event". KCET. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  6. ^ "Buses Replace 2 PE Lines' Trolleys". Los Angeles Evening Citizen News. July 3, 1950. p. 9. Retrieved 4 February 2022 – via  
  7. ^ Nelson, Laura J. (May 24, 2018). "Metro narrows the options for a light-rail line from downtown L.A. to Artesia". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8 September 2021.

External linksEdit

Route map:

KML is not from Wikidata