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Nostalgia & History > Traction Action: the subway in Oakland, Calif.


Date: 12/15/12 17:26
Traction Action: the subway in Oakland, Calif.
Author: stash

These photos have appeared before on T.O. and I don't normally repost. But unless one looks through the lengthy list of photos on this site many T.O. folks may not have seen these photos.

Long before BART there was a subway in Oakland, a short one at that. Key System called it a "subway" although it really was an underpass for Key tracks to get past the Southern Pacific. A conventional interlocking would have been a disaster with heavy traffic on the two railways; hence the subway. This subway was opened in 1903 as far as I know. Trains used it until April 1958 when all service was discontinued. Today it serves as an access road to East Bay MUD's water treatment plant; over a century of service. Most all evidence of the Key System has disappeared except for this subway which I suppose will survive forever.

Sacramento Northern trains once rolled through the subway on trackage rights. UP trains continue to cross over the structure and few people even know it exists.

Many more photos here; just search "traction action." Also at www.keyrailpix.org.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/12 17:57 by stash.






Date: 12/15/12 20:14
Re: Traction Action: the subway in Oakland, Calif.
Author: Westbound

In picture #1 there is even more fascinating industrial detail in the background. Great photo!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/12 20:15 by Westbound.



Date: 12/15/12 20:29
Re: Traction Action: the subway in Oakland, Calif.
Author: norm1153

Thanks for photos!

On #1, is that possibly an IER car passing by on the SP tracks above the subway? I've enlarged the photo, but can't quite make it out. If it is passenger anything though, it looks like it has "standee" windows, so I could be wrong...



Date: 12/15/12 20:57
Re: Traction Action: the subway in Oakland, Calif.
Author: 567Chant

New to me.
Keep 'em coming!
...Lorenzo



Date: 12/15/12 22:04
Re: Traction Action: the subway in Oakland, Calif.
Author: lwilton

Thanks for these! I was quite surprised that I do actually remember seeing these before, but I certainly have no objection to seeing them a second time, or third, or fourth. I think the last time I spent a while with Google Earth trying to locate basically the same camera position to see what it looked like then, and I seem to recall I more or less succeeded. It is a lot more interesting in your photos!



Date: 12/16/12 04:54
Re: Traction Action: the subway in Oakland, Calif.
Author: TonyJ

Great stuff, Stash.



Date: 12/16/12 07:05
Re: Traction Action: the subway in Oakland, Calif.
Author: KeyRouteKen

norm1153 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for photos!
>
> On #1, is that possibly an IER car passing by on
> the SP tracks above the subway? I've enlarged the
> photo, but can't quite make it out. If it is
> passenger anything though, it looks like it has
> "standee" windows, so I could be wrong...

Norm-- I'd say it IS an IER car passing overhead. Look to the far left of the car body in the photo. You can see the large door opening for the high gates that were eventually applied for bridge operation.

KRK



Date: 12/16/12 14:28
Re: the subway in Oakland, Calif.
Author: timz2

Wonder if the SP signal bridge visible
in the first pic is hiding in the second
pic, or been removed.



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