Contributed by Bobbi Bruce and John Vincent
Downey's railway station was built by Southern Pacific Railroad in 1888. The station was said to be the finest terminal outside Los Angeles of any of the Southern Pacific lines.
It was instrumental to the growth of the period as nearly 12,000 passenger tickets were sold and almost 8 million lbs. of produce were shipped from the Downey station. The produce was shipped during the 1920's and '30's, which included a large crop of oranges. About 90 percent of the Downey area was given over to agriculture at that time. The vast majority of business in Downey was mainly shipping oranges, walnuts and alfalfa.
After World War II, business at the station slowed down but the station remained in use into the 1960's. Downey became more urbanized after the war and travel became more popular.
The Downey train depot stood until October 1968 when the owners of the building (Southern Pacific Railroad) had it demolished. The depot was staunch to the very end as it took a giant crane to knock it down. It took several hours to demolish the old wooden building (as stated by rumors it was ready to fall down as it was loaded with termites).
The train station was located at Nance Street and La Reina Avenue, where the new Downey Transportation Center and Dial-A-Ride is located.
If you want to learn more about the old Downey train station, come visit the Downey Historical Society.