The Key System
At the museums
182 at Rio Vista Junction, CA
July 5, 1980
The old car next to Key 182 is an ex-NY el car, Manhattan Ry. Co., (IRT) built in the 1880s as a steam drawn trailer and electrified in 1903. Upon cessation of operation of the 2d Ave. el in June, 1942 ninety cars in the 800 and 900 series were shipped to California, all paid for by an arm of the US Gov't  to the Key System for use on the temporary Richmond Shipyard Ry.  After adaptation and renumbering into the 500 series, they ran from 40th & Shafter in 4 and 6 car trains to the  Kaiser shipyard where Liberty and Victory ships were built. High level plarforms were needed at the terminals while Key system cars performed local service on this highly successful line which ran for only a little more than two years. They were semi-permanently coupled in pairs on Key, one car with a pantograph and the other being fed from the 600v bus line.
Caption data from Bill Volkmer
Joe Testagrose collection
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