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The Los Angeles & Independence Railroad

Discussion of early railroads and "honorary" narrow gauges.

The Los Angeles & Independence Railroad

Postby Gunslinger87 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:44 pm

Hey all,

The LA&O is a railroad I recent discovered and would like to learn more about it. I have a digital project I am worling on and I would like to find some photos of the RR's equipment from around the TOC. (1900-1909)

It seems like an interesting railroad, though there doesn't seem to be too much nown about it.
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Re: The Los Angeles & Independence Railroad

Postby Andrew Brandon » Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:45 pm

The LA&I was acquired by Southern Pacific interests in 1877. It was later leased to the Central Pacific in 1885 and became another cog in the great Octopus. By the turn of the century there wasn't any equipment lettered for it.

The railroad had two locomotives.
#1 Los Angeles 4-4-0 Danforth & Cooke 15x24
#2 Santa Monica 4-4-0 Danforth & Cooke 15x24
Both were renumbered into the general system in 1891.

I found this Carlton Watkins stereoview photo online, I would be interested to see it in higher resolution.
LAI-Santa-Monica-Depot.jpg

Also Here.

I did find this interesting photo of their depot in Santa Monica circa 1888 after a quick search of the USC archive.
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Re: The Los Angeles & Independence Railroad

Postby Andrew Brandon » Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:50 pm

You might want to check the California Railroad Commissioner Reports. Here is the Los Angeles & Independence Railroad report from 1876.
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Re: The Los Angeles & Independence Railroad

Postby Gunslinger87 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:41 pm

Wow, only two locomotives? I'm kind of surprised and a little disappointed, but still good to know non the less.

For the project I mentioned in my first post, the project I'm working on is set anywhere between 1905 and the 19-Teens. For the earlier part of that time frame (1905) would Central locomotives have been seen/used on the line? Or would they have all been SP by that point?
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Re: The Los Angeles & Independence Railroad

Postby Brian Norden » Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:42 pm

According to Diebert & Strapac in Southern Pacific Steam Company Locomotive Compendium the two locomotives were built by Cooke in November, 1875. The locomotives became SP 1170 and 1171 in 1891 and then in 1901 became 1205 and 1206. They are listed as scrapped 10-02.

there are some photographic images on-line of the Los Angeles depot of the LA&I in the digital collection of USC.
http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/

The LA&I was going to build through Cajon Pass to reach the Owens Valley.

For back ground information about the railroad find the paper done by Franklyn Hoyt entitled "Railroad Development in Southern California, 1868 to 1900" circa 1951. He authored several articles for the Historical Society of Southern California Quarterly during the early 1950s about early railroads in the Los Angeles and Southern California area. His article on the LA&I appeared in the December 1950 issue of the Quarterly.

Much of the new light rail line between downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica utilizes the right-of-way if the LA&I.
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Re: The Los Angeles & Independence Railroad

Postby Randy Hees » Sat Apr 30, 2016 8:30 am

If you want to do 1905, you might want to instead look at the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake railroad... and the railroad that became its western end, the Los Angeles Terminal...

The LAT was a combination of the Los Angeles and Glendale, a narrow gauge line, the Pasadena Rwy, a standard gauge line, and new construction to San Pedro using the franchise of the Los Angeles and Ocean... They also controlled the San Gabriel Rapid Transit for a year.

Senator William Clark of Montana purchased an interest in the LAT in 1899, incorporating it into his San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake in 1901... The line through Las Vegas to Salt Lake was completed in 1905... They dropped the San Pedro, becoming the LA&SL in 1916, and the line was sold to the Union Pacific in 1922 (UP via Harriman had held an interest in the line much earlier)

Clark also owned the Las Vegas & Tonopah, built 1905, abandoned 1918...

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Re: The Los Angeles & Independence Railroad

Postby Gunslinger87 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:18 pm

Hey all, sorry for the grossly delayed response. Unfortunately I can get easily side tracked with things in real life... often to a fault...

Anyway, my reasoning to learning more about the LA&I is because of a "what if" sort of situation for a route I'm developing for Trainz Railroad Simulator. It centers around an alternate history with narrow gauge line, the Mojave & Panamint RR which runs from Panamint Jct. (just south of Searles dry lake) to Ballarat, CA. This is all inspired by Craig Tice's HOn3 model railroad featured in an issue of Railroad Model Craftsman. I then the Feb 93' issue. (correct me if I'm wrong)

In his alternate history, the LA&I makes it all the way to Independence. So the M&P would interchange with the LA&I. And that's why I'm inquiring about that railroad. Tice's layout is set in 1905-ish according to his article in RMC. So I've been developing a digital creation of his route for the game and hence why I want to use the LA&I for the standard gauge interchange.
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Re: The Los Angeles & Independence Railroad

Postby PacificCoastBorax99 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 5:07 pm

I am also interested in reskinning the old Cooke 4-4-0engines in Trainz for Gunslinger's project, and I would like to know if anyone here might know what liveries these engines would've carried during their LA&I/SP days?
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Re: The Los Angeles & Independence Railroad

Postby Randy Hees » Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:11 pm

Jim Wilke is working on paint for the two V&T Danforth/Cook Locos they had for next October's V&T conference... There is no great body of information, but Jim and John should do a good job of identifying what is known.

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Re: The Los Angeles & Independence Railroad

Postby PacificCoastBorax99 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:04 pm

I would also like to know if there was ever a rolling stock roster recorded for the LA&I, as in how much freight stock the railway owned before being absorbed by the Southern Pacific and Pacific Electric in 1877. I do believe there were at least 6 flatcars and a boxcar, perhaps constructed by the Central Pacific Railroad shops in Sacramento.

Anyone have "SP Freight Cars, Vol. 3" by Anthony W. Thompson? I was told some diagrams for CP 30' flatcars would be in that book, which plans were used for the V&T and the LA&I, but nothing on how many of these were actually built...
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