Since its earliest days, the Los Angeles Railway prided itself upon its ability to build, as well as repair, its streetcars. This car is an example of the type of large-scale car building that the LA Railway was capable of. In 1925, the LA Railway shops built 82 of these ‘Type K’ cars as homemade copies of the predecessor ‘Type H’ class. Accustomed as their shops were to working in wood, the ‘Type K’ cars were constructed as clever wood copies of the all-steel ‘Type H’.
These ‘Type K’ cars used a steel underframe, but the framing above that was wood. A laminated steel/wood siding (an early version of plymetal) was affixed to the exterior, thus giving the appearance of an all-steel car. The use of truss-rods below the floor line (a structural necessity found on most wooden railroad cars), is the give-away that this is a wooden carbody.
1559 was purchased from the LATL by the Pacific Railroad Society, and has been at the Museum since 1958. It was formally donated to OERM in 2000. PRS' other cars at OERM include the Descanso, an SP articulated Chair Car, an SP Daylight Chair Car, and an SP baggage car.
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