In an earlier post, I shared B. Smith’s excellent coverage SP action in the San Fernando Valley in the early 1970s. In this post, we will drill down a little further into the nuts and bolts of the line’s operations again in the early 1970s with a few new photos, maps and field notes made by B. Smith as he documented the line in 1972. This will be very useful for people interested in modelling the line and give the rest of us food for thought as to how many lines operated in the 1970s and somewhat beyond.
Here’s an overview map to start (Each of the boxes will have detailed maps and field notes to follow. All the photos were taken July 20, 1972 and copyright B. Smith)–
Let’s head east to west and visit a little around the North Hollywood area to start.
The San Fernando Valley Branch as it travels up the center of Chandler Blvd. in North Hollywood. Looking east from near Laurel Canyon Blvd.
San Fernando Valley Branch passing under the Hollywood Freeway. Facing west.
Map of North Hollywood area.
B. Smith’s field notes on North Hollywood. (The letters correspond to locations on the maps.)
North Hollywood map area, looking west with Lankershim Blvd in the immediate foreground. Hendricks Builders Supply (G. on the map above) was once the North Hollywood Pacific Electric station. The North Hollywood team track area is just the other side of Lankershim on the right in the open area. Pameco-Aire-Refrigeration is the brick building (darker color) in the center of the picture in the distance.
Car of lumber being unloaded at Blanchard Lumber in North Hollywood, May 20, 1972. Looking east toward Vineland Ave. Pacific Electric cars once ran on a track that was where the photographer is standing.
OK, let’s head west on the branch over to Van Nuys in 1972.
Looking west across Hazeltine Ave. in the Van Nuys map area as the San Fernando Valley local freight train disappears down the tracks. Modern Materials Inc. is visible to the left of the tracks. Between Modern Material and Hazeltine is the Shell Oil Co.distributor whose spur track is no longer used and blocked with 55 gal oil drums. The Shell Oil Distributor located here about 1926 and received rail shipments until truck shipments took over.
B. Smith’s map of Van Nuys, 1972.
B. Smith’s field notes on Van Nuys, 1972.
UP box car spotted at the Glesby Building Materials Co. spur in the Van Nuys map area. The ready-mix cement company does not receive rail shipments nor was there ever a spur track located to it. The spur track leading off to the right goes to American Forest Products, a major receiver of rail shipments with about 25 cars per month.
Heading further west, we go near the Sepulveda Dam Recreational Area.
San Fernando Valley Branch as it skirts the Sepulveda Dam Recreational Area near the intersection of Victory Blvd. and Havenhurst St.
Now easing a little further west, let’s poke around the Encino area just a bit before heading over to Reseda.
B. Smith’s 1972 map of Encino.
Map of Reseda area.
Reseda field notes.
Now let’s end this tour at the most western part of the branch around the Canoga Park area.
Facing south in the Canoga Park map area with Canoga Ice Co. on the left, here since 1927. Today this is a bike path and a dedicated bus route! Pyramid Pipe and Supply, which would have been behind the photographer is still in business, but everything in this photo is gone!
Canoga Park map.
Notes on Canoga Park
Looking north on the Canoga Park map area from near Vanowen Blvd. Conrock and Skyline ready-mix concrete companies are on the right but it’s been 3 years since a load of cement or gravel has been spotted on their spur track.
As we wrap up our visit of SP operations in the San Fernando Valley in 1972, let me leave you with a couple of overview documents.
The best customers of the branch.
Here’s the stats on the number of carloads per customer in 1972.
Again, this is an amazing gold mine for anyone interested in modelling this branch in the early 1970s. The operations were very diverse and interesting. It would make a fascinating layout.
Next post will feature a detailed description of switching around Tarzana on July 12, 1972.