Free slideshow on Pacific Electric Red Car at Glendale Public Library

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Metro Transportation Library and Archive/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

PE No. 5063 - Glendale Line. Burbank terminal. 1st day of 1-man service. Left: J. C. Jeffreys, President Burbank Chamber of Commerce. Center: George Pardon, President Burbank Jr Chamber of Commerce. Right: Ade Banks, Burbank Times staff. 1/7/1950.

If you’re old enough to remember L.A.'s Red Cars light rail lines, today’s rush to create mass transit is like a trip back to the future.

History buffs and newbies are invited to a free trip down memory lane tonight at the Glendale Public Library to learn how the Red Car put Glendale on the map.

Historian Paul Ayers will present an historic slideshow featuring over 240 photos including past and present images of the electric red car route through Glendale. The line was pioneered in 1902 as part of the Pacific Electric Railway – known as the Red Car system.

In its heyday, it was the biggest electric transit system in the world. After the Glendale route was established, the L.A. City Council granted a franchise to LC Brand and Associates to extend the line along Brand Boulevard, creating a new business artery through town.

Pacific Electric was so successful and brought such huge crowds to the Glendale, the city was incorporated in 1906. The historic transit line came to an end in 1955, replaced by L.A.'s car culture.

You can get more info on the event at

The Red Car Slideshow starts at 7 this evening at the Glendale Central Library on East Harvard Street. Another presentation is scheduled for June 1. Admission is free.

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