Last year, my sister and research associate began telling me there's an old "Red Car" somewhere on the Subway Terminal Building property, at surface level. She had learned about it via an old PBS program hosted by the one-and-only Huell Howser. "I'm sure there was," I told her, "when Huell filmed the program years ago. But it wouldn't still be there now." "Why not?" "Well...they wouldn't just leave a historic old Red Car rusting away outside the terminal building."
A noble gesture, and, given the many ways in which Downtown LA has been revitalized in the past couple of decades, rather visionary too. But despite many advances and revitalizations downtown, we have yet to bring back trolleys. And so car #1435 sits neglected in its little cage, rather splendidly vandalized by talented graffiti artists, an unheralded and in many quarters utterly forgotten gem of Los Angeles history. Rubbish blows about its great metal wheels, and rats scamper about it.
Is this the end of the line...or could Yellow Car #1435 still have a new beginning?
[UPDATE:] 02/16/2016 - According to information released at "Night on Broadway" (01/30/2016) and by the Los Angeles Downtown News (02/15/2016), supporters of reviving a DTLA streetcar line continue to push forward. The LA Streetcar Project as presently designed will include a 3.8 mile route that loops around the downtown district anchored to a "main spine" on Broadway. Projected costs are $281.6M, and projected resources are not sufficient. Ernst & Young has been hired (to the tune of $1.49M per annum) to find resources to make up the $144M funding gap. While it's encouraging that the project hasn't been abandoned, the large financial gap is rather discouraging, and E&Y's option to extend its contract for an additional two years hints this will not be a speedy streetcar revival--but one, no doubt, worth the wait.