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Nostalgia & History > Traction Action: Oakland, Calif., Bridge Yard


Date: 06/23/15 00:40
Traction Action: Oakland, Calif., Bridge Yard
Author: stash

Photo 1. The wash rack. Dated in 1958, one would think it was during a strike based on all those articulated units in the yard. But the 76 day strike that put the final nail in the coffin was some years prior to that. So we can say that even though the Key's rail system was falling apart (except in this less than 20 year old yard), they kept the equipment clean. Yerba Buena Island is in the distance along with the suspension span of the Bay Bridge and the Port of Oakland is to the left. The large building in the yard through the sea of pantographs was built to be the Southern Pacific's inspection building for their Interurban Electric Railway trains. The SP was out of the Bridge Railway game in 1941. That building survives today as a Caltrans facility.

Photo 2. Now we have a 1955 photo snapped between the east end of the Bridge Yard and the subway beneath SP. A westbound "F" with an incorrect destination sign is passing the signal. Perhaps it'll enter the yard; I cannot tell the switch position from the scene. In the distance, an eastbound train nearing the dip under Southern Pacific. The Bay Bridge approach highway is at left; wastewater treatment plan to right. Nice leisurely way to get around well before speedy BART. At one time this was all water; much bay filling has occurred over many years.






Date: 06/23/15 02:04
Re: Traction Action: Oakland, Calif., Bridge Yard
Author: Evan_Werkema

I scanned some John Plytnick slides of Key System's final weeks at the Western Railway Museum Archives last weekend including a couple of the Bridge Yard washrack, so I hope you don't mind me piggybacking on your thread. 

1 and 2) Plytnick caught unit 110 going through the washer from the ground on the opposite side relative to Matthews' shot.  I was tempted to call these "cleaning the uncleanable," as National City Lines' pale green and mustard yellow "fruit salad" scheme never really looked fresh and bright even when it was.  The tired paint on 110 definitely had some miles on it.

3. All bays occupied in the shop building.  This was Key System's near-duplicate of the old IER building visible in the distance of Matthews' shot.  The IER shop still exists, but the Key System shop does not.








Date: 06/23/15 07:03
Re: Traction Action: Oakland, Calif., Bridge Yard
Author: TonyJ

Thank You Stash!



Date: 06/23/15 09:09
Re: Traction Action: Oakland, Calif., Bridge Yard
Author: Pullman

The Key Shop at the Bridge Yard had a rail connection to the outside world; to the Oakland Terminal Railway. And it had been used for storage of railway equipment from the 60's into the 70's. Daily commuters drove by the bridge toll plaza and had no idea what was inside.

When the Western Pacific 94 was moved on it's own wheels from Oakland to Rio Vista Junction, it left the building after having been stored in the Key Shop building along with other railway equipment.

At one time, all of that equipment was all destined for display at the Project X transportation museum in the Hasslet Warehouse in San Francisco. Only part of the project came to pass; that being the Hyde Street Pier nautical display, today part of the National Park Service. The railway equipment stored inside also included the Robert Dollar 3 2--6-2T (now operational in Sunol at PLA), Robert Dollar 2978 Shay (now at the Roots of Motive Power Museum in Willits), Southern Pacific 9053 blunt end 10-6 sleeping car (now at the Truckee Donner Railroad Society in Truckee) and Key System 187 Bridge Unit (now at Western Railway Museum, Rio Vista Jct.). There was also one of the SF Muni's White motor coaches that was used on the route to Coit Tower. It also has been preserved by a private owner.

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/23/15 09:11 by Pullman.



Date: 06/23/15 10:13
Re: Traction Action: Oakland, Calif., Bridge Yard
Author: EtoinShrdlu

>A westbound "F" with an incorrect destination sign is passing the signal. Perhaps it'll enter the yard; I cannot tell the switch position from the scene.

It looks like the upper sign reads "Berkeley via Shattuck Ave", and the motorman may have wound it to this after leaving 40th & San Pablo (or failed to changed it prior to leaving Solano & The Alameda), and people are sitting in the railfan's seat.



Date: 06/23/15 10:31
Re: Traction Action: Oakland, Calif., Bridge Yard
Author: stash

The westbound F would become an eastbound A in San Francisco and vice versa. Unless it was a rush hour tripper heading to the yard in which case the Local Service sign would be displayed.


EtoinShrdlu Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> >A westbound "F" with an incorrect destination
> sign is passing the signal. Perhaps it'll enter
> the yard; I cannot tell the switch position from
> the scene.
>
> It looks like the upper sign reads "Berkeley via
> Shattuck Ave", and the motorman may have wound it
> to this after leaving 40th & San Pablo (or failed
> to changed it prior to leaving Solano & The
> Alameda), and people are sitting in the railfan's
> seat.



Date: 06/23/15 13:14
Re: Traction Action: Oakland, Calif., Bridge Yard
Author: norm1153

Great photos, and rather good color!  Thank you, Stash.

 



Date: 06/23/15 17:50
Re: Traction Action: Oakland, Calif., Bridge Yard
Author: EtoinShrdlu

>The westbound F would become an eastbound A in San Francisco and vice versa.

Thanks forgot about that. Perhaps it's a WB A train with the sign changed prematurely (extends break time in the EBT).



Date: 06/24/15 10:05
Re: Traction Action: Oakland, Calif., Bridge Yard
Author: colehour

That same color scheme was used on the local buses here in the Hammond (IN) area back in the 1950s-1960s. I think that I've also seen it used for the equipment of other transportation companies. Anyone have more information on that?



Date: 06/24/15 12:01
Re: Traction Action: Oakland, Calif., Bridge Yard
Author: KeyRouteKen

colehour Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That same color scheme was used on the local buses
> here in the Hammond (IN) area back in the
> 1950s-1960s. I think that I've also seen it used
> for the equipment of other transportation
> companies. Anyone have more information on that?

National City Lines was a conglomerate headquarted in Chicago and led by Jesse Haugh.  When NCL took over various streetcar and interurban transit lines and eventually converted to all BUS operations, they made the rolling stock NCL colors which were green, yellow and cream.
They also modified the local company's name.  Hence, in Oakland, CA, KEY SYSTEM became Key System Transit Lines.  In LA, the Los Angeles Railway became Los Angeles Transit Lines.  and on and on.
The NCL color scheme was lovingly referred to, by local railfans, as "FRUIT SALAD" ...  The original Founder of NCL was a bus operator in Kentucky named Frank Fitzgerald.

Take care.

KRK



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