Skip to main content

With construction of Pacific Electric’s new line to San Bernardino from Los Angeles in 1912, larger and faster car cars were needed for service on this new line. The line was to be the longest line yet constructed and would be the only line to operate on 1200 volts DC, as compared with the rest of the system operating on a 600 volt system. PE placed an order for 45 cars from the Jewett Car Company of Jewitt, Ohio.  Delivered in the summer of 1913 on their own wheels from Ohio, the ‘Tens’ were pressed into service that summer to run to Long Beach behind PE’s new 1601 class locomotives, the only time on record that this was done. The big new cars went through Pacific Electric’s general shops at 7th & Central Streets in Los Angeles to receive their motors, controls, and other equipment as quickly as possible. All cars got four Westinghouse 333-A-2 motors (100 hp), capable of 600-1200 volt DC operation for the San Bernardino Line.

1000 was withdrawn from service in late 1913 and was remodeled into a deluxe business car. The floor plan provided observation rooms at each end of the car with lowered window sills on the car fronts to provide unobstructed views of the line. In the middle of the car was a private office and lavatory. The car interior was paneled in mahogany and fitted with portable leather chairs. The cost of the remodel was over $11,000. Returning to service in the summer of 1914, 1000 was the only deluxe car capable of running on 1200 volts for service on the San Bernardino Line. 1000 spent many years transporting officials and distinguished guests over the PE system. Most notably, 1000 saw regular service as “The Commodore”, an extra fare parlor car service from Los Angeles to Newport Beach and Balboa. During the summer months, several PE officials including President O.A. Smith used The Commodore to commute to Los Angeles from their summer homes in Newport Beach.  With the creation of business car 1299 in 1929, the 1000 was relegated to second position.

In 1938, 1000 was modified into a parlor car, increasing the seating capacity by installing 32 portable leather chairs. The car was again used for The Commodore service in 1938 and 1939. Displaced permanently by car 1299, 1000 was stored at the West Hollywood carhouse for use as an operator training car. Rarely used for revenue service, 1000 was used for several private charters by railfans. Primary use for the car was for motorman training classes. 1947, the car was retired and stripped of mechanical parts and interior components. The car body was sold for use as a private residence in Baldwin Park. In 1964, the Orange Empire Trolley Museum acquired the car and relocated it to the museum in Perris. Today, 1000 is in storage in Barn 7 awaiting restoration. While devoid of trucks and mechanical components, the body is in very good condition due to years of indoor storage and cosmetic work to the car exterior. 1000 can be visited at special “Behind the Scenes” events.


PE 1000 being moved to indoor storage in Barn 7. Don Brown Photo.

Pacific Electric 1000 Media Gallery