L.A.’s Transportation Past Found in Broadway Excavation


Railroad Ties on Broadway

This work site at Broadway and 2nd Street is fenced off, but a gate was left open Friday long enough for me to snap a picture. The ongoing excavation  for the Metro station has revealed railroad ties apparently set in gravel. The spacing seems very close together. Anyone have any ideas?


This photo looking south on Broadway is the approximate location of where I found the ties, although this car appears to be one of the cable cars that were briefly installed in downtown and pulled by an underground cable rather than using overhead electrical power.

Here’s a picture looking north on Broadway from about 5th Street, showing the streetcar tracks. The Times tower in the distance pegs this as after the 1910 bombing and the absence of the old City Hall puts this in the 1920s, as do the automobiles.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Broadway, Downtown, Transportation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to L.A.’s Transportation Past Found in Broadway Excavation

  1. CARMELITE says:

    I’m no expert, but some research shows that the greater the mass, the further rail ties are spread apart from one another. Since a jitney (street car, trolley) is considerably lighter than a locomotive car, this might make some sense. I’m happily reminded of the streetcar scene in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Thanks for the great post!


  2. Boris says:

    I think there was a junction where street cars made a turn at 2nd and Broadway. This may be at the spot where the tracks split for each of the 2 directions.


  3. aryedirect says:

    Can the grave of Judge Doom be far away?


  4. Jerry Martz says:

    I vote for the Second Street Cable Railway.


Leave a Reply. Note: Your IP is logged with your comment so a fake name and email address are useless.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s