Read the Free Trolleyville Times Monthly for the Latest News on Prototype and Model Traction!

Monday, June 13, 2022

Classy Class 1's

The 1912, San Diego Electric Railway Class 1, Center Entrance, Pay-As-You-Enter Cars. 

Numbers 125 - 148.  Built by the St. Louis Car Company

By the 1910's, San Diego's double deck and other single truck cars, as well as some of their California Cars, were getting pretty old. So the SDERy, looking to update its fleet, developed a new, modern car. The Class 1's:

The new design incorporated the feature that made the old California Cars so popular with riders, an open section on one end to take advantage of San Diego's mild climate and an all weather enclosed section on the other end for when San Diego's mild climate wasn't so mild.

Another feature was the depressed center section. The lower floor meant that passengers didn't have to climb so high to get in the car. This safety feature reduced step accidents dramatically when folks were boarding and exiting the car.

The big innovation was the P.A.Y.E. system (Pay-As-You-Enter).  The conductor was stationed at the center of the car, opening and closing the gates and collecting fares as passengers boarded. This feature would soon be adopted with other cities around the nation. 

The cars are designed in the Art's and Crafts style with tall windows, and an arch roof. This gave the car a very airy, roomy, modern feel to it. 'They were adorned with warm yellow colors, gold-leafed oak leaves, hand-polished cherry wood, and solid bronze hardware -- even the push buttons passengers used to alert the motorman were inlaid with mother-of-pearl'. -Wikipedia

Painting by Ken Eberts
Apparently, with the more efficient loading and unloading as well as more powerful motors, these cars made good time and allowed the company to actually run less cars, thus improving profits.

You know, for such a successful, innovative and attractive car, it sure would be nice if someone came out with a model of these wonderful, stately cars.

Yes sir! Sure would be nice if someone came out with a model of these cars!