Saturday, July 25, 2015

Inglewood Train Station, 1969

A few years ago I found this photo of a very cute little train station in Inglewood, California (part of Los Angeles). It almost looks like a dollhouse version of a train station; there must not have been a lot of passenger service. 

A knowledgeable pal of mine passed along some info: "That's the Inglewood Santa Fe station that opened in 1887 and was demolished in 1974 after it suffered irreparable damage in a 1972 fire... it's so cool to see your depot photo in glorious COLOR!"

My friend include two vintage photos... this one must be from the 1950's. The slightly-crooked telephone pole amuses me.

Here's another angle - undated.

These slides had the specific date of "April 22, 1969" written on them; something was going on, as this huge locomotive (painted a devilish red!) was there. 

The Santa Fe 1010 is (according to Wikipedia), "... a 2-6-2 type steam locomotive built [in 1901] by Baldwin Locomotive Works for Atchinson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway". In 1905 it was used as part of a one-time, record breaking passenger train that went from Los Angeles to Chicago (2,265 miles) in a mere 44 hours and 55 minutes! That was 13 hours faster than the previous record.

The 1010 was donated to the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, and you can see it there today!

EXTRA! EXTRA! GDB commenter Chuck has kindly gone to the trouble of merging the two photos into one (because I was too lazy). There's some funkiness with the car hood, but otherwise it came out quite nicely!


Nanook said...


Both color photos are beautiful. And the second color photo is just stunning.

Had the 1960 Mercury Comet not have appeared so prominently in the second image, I too, would've imagined the second image to be from the 1950's. However, the Comet was introduced in March, 1960 - so that's the earliest possible date of the picture.

Thanks, Major.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

NICE! I love vintage LA shots, even if Inglewood is only a suburb of LA. You could Photoshop the first and last photos to make a panoramic view (if you were so inclined), they would match up perfectly.

I would’ve guessed that your scanner just got bumped or something looking at that wonky telephone pole, but it’s identical in the other shot. It is kind of funny.

Nice bit of history here today Major, thank you!

Irene said...

Does anyone know the streets where this was located? I ask because I used to "hang out" on Market St. with my friends in the '60's and my family is all laid to rest in Inglewood Memorial Park cemetery.

Chuck said...

Love this set today, Major!

ATSF 1010 was used in 1955 for an episode of "Death Valley Days" that dramatized the record-breaking 1905 "Scott Special." Because the locomotive had been converted to burn oil after 1905, a fake coal load was attached to the top of the tender that was still in place when your photos were taken in 1969.

1010 spent some time in storage at Redondo Junction from the late 50's through the 60's, awaiting donation to a museum or park. It found its way on screen several times during this period, including a 1958 episode of "Sky King" and the 1964 film "The Carpetbaggers." The scene from "The Carpetbaggers" was shot at the Pasadena depot in 1963, with a diesel locomotive at the other end of the train (and out of the shot) providing the motive power. The locomotive was sufficiently famous to be mentioned in contemporary press releases promoting the film (,1445250&hl=en).

1010 was painted red by February of 1964 for a commercial shoot for a Southern California GE ad campaign and stayed in that color at least through 1969. At some point after that (maybe when ATSF sold their Redondo Junction facility to Amtrak in 1977?) it was moved to Albuquerque, where it was stored until donation to the CSRM in 1979.

Irene, there's a detailed discussion of the location of the Inglewood Santa Fe depot (as well as the area's use in the 1920 Buster Keaton film "One Week") at this site:,1998910. I put it at about 320 S. Eucalyptus St. (33.966250, -118.358837) in Inglewood.

I couldn't find anything on whatever event was going on at Inglewood depot on April 22, 1969.

Major, I've also tried my hand at a Photoshop photomerge of the two photos as Monkey Cage Kurt suggested above. The car hood in the second image doesn't merge well at all, but it still gives an interesting wide-angle view of the scene. With no photo-posting capability of my own, I've sent it to you via e-mail.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I had no idea that was a Mercury Comet, but I admit that it did look suspiciously newer than the other cars. Now I know!

Monkey Cage Kurt, Chuck has granted your wish! You SHOULD have wished for 10 million dollars, but oh well. At least you have a nice merged photo to look at!

Irene, Chuck has more information than I will ever have! Please read his comment.

Chuck, while I saw a lot of that info, I did not see all of it! Sometimes I keep the information to a minimum, since it is hard to gauge how much the average Joe will want to know. But I am glad to have your research here in the comments for the non-average Joes and Janes who like history. Thank you for the merged image!

Steve DeGaetano said...

The more research and facts, the better! Death Valley Scotty anyone?

Nancy said...

beautiful little station house. it reminds me of one we had here in Pittsburgh at the trolley junction. So sad when they tore it down and went to a fare booth :( we had beautiful PCC cars thru the 1990s. the red color here is gorgeous! :-)

Nanook said...

@ Steve DeGaetano-

Wow - you're really pulling 'em out of the hat. And then there was the episode of Death Valley Days, entitled "Death Valley Scotty", from April, 1955.

Melissa said...

I choo-choo-choose GDB!

Melissa said...

I choo-choo-choose GDB!

Melissa said...

I choo-choo-choose GDB!