Key System 187

Dave's Electric Railroads

Built in:1937 by Bethlehem
Out-of-service/Retired:1959 (1958)
Type of car:rapid transit car (two-car articulated set)
Current Owner:Western Railway Museum(Rio Vista, California)

Car History by Frank Hicks

Key System 187
In 1939 the Key System, which had previously operated interurbans to Oakland where passengers transferred to San Francisco Bay ferries, began running trains into San Francisco over the Bay Bridge. During the two years leading up to this service expansion a total of 88 two-car articulated interurban trainsets were built for through operation over the Bay Bridge. The first 23 cars to be built, numbered 165-187, were constructed with all modern components while the remaining 60 cars were constructed with parts stripped from older scrapped interurban cars. Car 187 was one of 37 that were actually owned by the California Toll Bridge Authority, and when Key System abandoned Bay Bridge service in 1958 the cars owned by the Authority were not scrapped but were held for resale. Car 187 was bought in 1959 by a chapter of the Locomotive & Railway Historical Society, which used it for some time on diesel-hauled excursions. Afterwards the car was placed into storage, and in 1987 car 187 was donated to WRM. It was moved to the museum's site in 1988 after which it was restored to operational condition and painted in its as-built orange and silver color scheme. It is used on occasion at WRM.

Ownership History:Key System #187 1937-1958 / 1st preserved by Northern California Chapter, Railway & Locomotive Historical Society 1959-1988 / Western Railway Museum(Rio Vista, California) 1988-present

Facts and Figures

Status:undergoing restorationGauge:4'8.5"
Construction:steelRoof type:AREnded:DE
#Seats:140#Wheels/Conf.:12 (B-2-B)Total HP:420
Trucks:CommonwealthBrakes:AMM (M24D)Compressor:CP-28 (2)
Motors:WH 555C6 (4)Voltage (if not 600DC)