I love cartoons. When this big budget movie collaboration between Lucasfilm and Disney came out back in the 1980’s, I was first in line to see it in the theatre. Looking back now, I realize a major plot point was the demise of Los Angeles’ legendary Pacific Electric railroad system. At the time, many thought the disappearance of the “Red Cars” was a conspiracy by General Motors and the bus companies. The truth was much simpler. People preferred the convenience of their own private cars.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a perfect fit for my obscure train movie blog as the train part is mostly in the background, but comes to the front as the film reaches its climax. The more I researched this movie from a Pacific Electric Red Car standpoint, the more I understood what really happened…and how well filmmakers did reproducing the environment for the time period (late 1940’s).
Replica PE #721 rolls along with some non-paying passengers riding the rear bumper. #721 represents a “Hollywood Car” (600 class, #600-759). Notice its trolley pole is reaching for overhead wires that are not there.
At least one Hollywood Car (PE #655) was saved from the scrap heap and is in the collection of the Southern California Railway Museum.Continue reading