Post by pithecanthropus on Feb 16, 2012 21:55:29 GMT -8
In Santa Monica, where Pico Blvd passes under the 10 just west of Centinela Avenue, the sidewalk on the north side of the street bears a plaque informing us that passenger train service between downtown L.A. and Santa Monica ended in 1953. Fifty-nine years have passed since then, but it's not inconceivable that some of those who rode the train on that last day in 1953 might still be around today. Given that the opening of Phase I appears to be set for this Spring (we hope!), I'm wondering if Metro or anybody else is thinking of the PR possibilities. They should locate some people who were there for the last run in '53 and have them in the front car of the first train on opening day this Spring. How about it?
I'm wondering if this strikes folks here as a an amusing diversion to give a human element to opening day; I think that would be a good thing. On the other hand, such a move might backfire by furthering the opinion of some people that trains are a throwback to the past. We wouldn't want that, obviously.
What are your thoughts? Has anyone at Metro considered doing this?
I've already contacted Metro about having some of the Southern Pacific trainmen who worked the freight service along the "Air Line" as special guests for a VIP run. It should be quite a contrast for men who remember the worn-out lightweight rails and "landscape material" ties of the old days.
...On the other hand, such a move might backfire by furthering the opinion of some people that trains are a throwback to the past. We wouldn't want that, obviously. What are your thoughts?...
My thoughts are that the 307,098 people who ride Metro trains every day aren't going to be looking at the Expo Line as a throwback to the past. And the people parked on the 10 freeway during rush hour might think so, but after watching 3 or 4 Expo Line trains pass them up, might start to reconsider thier opinion on the matter
Great idea pithecanthropus, we can only hope those in charge are listening!
I believe the only person still alive who rode the last Santa Monica Air Line train on September 29, 1953, is Alan K. Weeks. He and I are planning to do a photo shoot of Phase 1 this Sunday.
Well then, there we go! Do you think Mr. Weeks would be willing?
I'm surprised he's the last one left. A 21-year old in 1953 would be 80 y.o.a now; definitely not young but also not ancient. And I thought there would have been kids whose parents brought them along for a last ride on the train.