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City to Start Yanking Out Tracks From Southern Pacific Railroad's Old Alameda Rathole Section

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Images removed at request of owner

Driving on Downtown's Alameda Street is not a pleasure, mainly because of old train tracks embedded in the street. The Downtown News reports that the Bureau of Street Services, with the urging of Councilmember Jose Huizar and a budget of $900,000, will finally tear up the decades-old tracks between First and Seventh Streets, and hopefully resurface the street soon after. Work on that northern section is scheduled for completion by spring 2012, but the tracks won't be removed from the southern section, from Seventh to the 10, until 2017(!). So what's the story with the old tracks? During the Southern Pacific Railroad era, the area around Little Tokyo was called the Rat Hole, according to DPD Productions, and it was home to "a maze of tracks that led to dozens of door to door businesses that the railroad served. To reach those businesses, many tracks twisted and turned through the streets and alleys of the area, and even right through some of the buildings themselves." The rat hole seems to be a favorite among model train enthusiasts.
· Alameda Street Train Tracks Being Removed [DN]
· What's "The Rat Hole"? [DPD Productions]

First and Alameda, Los Angeles, CA