Magazines » Pacific News - June 1978 » Page 4

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June 1978 - Page 4



... created by mining magnate Francis Marion "Borax" Smith to serve San Francisco East Bay commuters. the Key Route had it all: trains. streetcars, the famed mid Bay Pier and its fleet of ferries. The fabulous pier and its long overwater approach gave the system its name. but finally gave way to the great Bay Bridge. its electric railway and Key's modernistic orange and-silver articulated railcars.

A 5 7-mile rail "Sunset Limited" rapid transit system for Los Angeles County has been prop osed by Supervisor Baxter Ward and is being evaluated by the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission. The program is a limited version of Ward's 232-mile "Sunset Coast L ines" defeated at the J une, 1976 election. H u b of the new proposal is " U nion Plaza," a refurbished and expanded Los Angeles U nion Passenger Terminal, which would allow convenient transferring between Amtrak and S unset trains. The rail system's operating head quarters would be in a new building south of the present LAUPT trainshed area. Ward calls for90-mph operation with rail cars 85 feet long. There would be three kinds: an airport car with luggage racks, an interurban car (which would be painted red to recall the old Pacific Electric R a ilway) and local cars with high-density seating. Ward has proposed that some of the cars have vista domes. The price tag of $3.8 billion, and the 57 miles of routes, do not include a proposal, also in the Ward plan, to upgrade the former Pacific Electric line to Long Beach for operation with Budd's new SPV-2000 rail diesel cars. Ward has suggested this as an additional route to serve the harbor area. The electrified lines would i nclude trackage in the as-yet-u nbuilt Century Freeway near Los Angeles I nternational Airport, the Harbor Freeway and the Ventu ra Freeway in the San Fernando Valley. The EI M onte Busway, which generally parallels the present Southern Pacific main line on the former Pacific Electric San Bernardino line, would be co nverted to rail operation and be
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