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BART: The "Key" Reincarnated
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 4373
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 9:54 pm    Post subject: BART: The "Key" Reincarnated Reply with quote

Gentlemen:

The famed and far-flung "Key System", until 1958, carried East Bay commuters over the lower level of the Bay Bridge and into the now-demolished Transbay Terminal in San Francisco; until 1939, Key trains connected with transbay ferryboats at the old Key Pier, which was over a mile from shore, due to the vast mud lats in the area.

This ornate and cavernous pier terminal perished in a massive blaze in 1933; a new terminal of corrugated steel was quickly built, and served until the Key electrics were routed over the Bay Bridge in 1939.

Ater the Key ran its last trains in 1956, it would have seemed that commuting via electric trains was in the past; however, a scant decade later, construction on a NEW electric rapid transit network was beginning.......this, of course, was BART....and soon, a new era in electric rail transit in the Bay area was to begin!

The BART system utilizes a track gauge of 5' 6", and also utilizes and unusual 10,000 volt DC third rail.

The Key link in this sprawling electric rail network is the 3.6 mile transbay tube under the Bay, which travels almost the same route as the the old SP ferry, which, until 1958, ran between SP's Oakland Mole and the Ferry Building.

The deepest point of the BART transbay tube is 132 beneath the muddy Bay bottom. The tube is also unique in that it has flexible earthquake joints at each end.

The 70-80 MPH trains can make the speedy trip under the bay in about 4 minutes.

Both BART, and its ancestor, the "Key System", are indeed worth some discussion here.......strange, indeed, how, in 1958 electric commuter trains in the Bay area were thought to be "old school", and yet, a decade later, the same concept was being reborn.....as BART......

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent collection of BART photos, as well as history and data.......

http://www.nycsubway.org/wiki/BART_Bay_Area_Rapid_Transit

(courtesy: nycsubway.org)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"BART: THE PROJECT BEGINS"......

http://www.bart.gov/about/history/history

(courtesy: bart.gov)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reminiscent of something out of a circa-1960 issue of "POPULAR SCIENCE", we see what BART might have looked like, crossing the Bay over the Golden Gate Bridge........

http://burritojustice.com/2009/10/10/bart-to-the-future/

(courtesy: burritojustice.com)
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
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Location: Queens, NY

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll miss that old art deco styled Transbay Terminal...it was the closest thing to the PABT of all other bus terminals, in a way, with its elevated loading platforms, and direct ramps to and from the water crossing (in this case a bridge instead of a tunnel.
AC Transit was its prime tenant, the successor to the Key System routes to the East Bay. Greyhounds East Bay commute division also ran some schedules from there. MUNI operated buses and streetcars from its lower level. In later years, Continental Trailways moved its operations there on the First Street side, from their former location at the Santa Fe bus depot at 44 Fourth Street. And when Amtrak started up, they ran their "Thruway" bus connections from the Natoma Street side.
Later still, Greyhound, after vastly shrinking its operations, moved their entire operation out of their Seventh Street Terminal into the upper level of the Transbay Terminal. They had long left the Ferry Building after selling off their Marin County commute division.

Here's a little historic details on it... http://www.foundsf.org/index.php?title=Transbay_Terminal

And here's what is supposed to replace it... http://www.businessinsider.com/san-francisco-transbay-transit-center-tour-2016-11/#built-in-1939-the-transbay-terminal-served-26-million-passengers-annually-during-its-heyday-at-the-end-of-world-war-ii-when-gas-rationing-ended-in-the-40s-traffic-petered-out-1
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vintage photos depicting early BART equipment testing.....

http://www.newdavesrailpix.com/sf/htm/sf111.htm

http://www.newdavesrailpix.com/sf/htm/sf099.htm

http://www.newdavesrailpix.com/sf/htm/sf103.htm

(courtesy: newdavesrailpix)
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recall at least one movie, "Heroes", from 1977, starring Henry Winkler and Sally Field, that had its initial bus terminal scene in the main floor lobby of the PABT, but when the scene changed to the bus boarding, they magically shifted to the upper level of the Transbay Terminal as a substitute for the PABT...I wonder how many movie viewer's were even aware? Wink

Probably few even cared... Smile
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver wrote:
I'll miss that old art deco styled Transbay Terminal...it was the closest thing to the PABT of all other bus terminals, in a way, with its elevated loading platforms, and direct ramps to and from the water crossing (in this case a bridge instead of a tunnel.
AC Transit was its prime tenant, the successor to the Key System routes to the East Bay. Greyhounds East Bay commute division also ran some schedules from there. MUNI operated buses and streetcars from its lower level. In later years, Continental Trailways moved its operations there on the First Street side, from their former location at the Santa Fe bus depot at 44 Fourth Street. And when Amtrak started up, they ran their "Thruway" bus connections from the Natoma Street side.
Later still, Greyhound, after vastly shrinking its operations, moved their entire operation out of their Seventh Street Terminal into the upper level of the Transbay Terminal. They had long left the Ferry Building after selling off their Marin County commute division.

Here's a little historic details on it... http://www.foundsf.org/index.php?title=Transbay_Terminal

And here's what is supposed to replace it... http://www.businessinsider.com/san-francisco-transbay-transit-center-tour-2016-11/#built-in-1939-the-transbay-terminal-served-26-million-passengers-annually-during-its-heyday-at-the-end-of-world-war-ii-when-gas-rationing-ended-in-the-40s-traffic-petered-out-1


traildriver: Great input........and most INTERESTING....thank you! Wink

I have long been intrigued by Bay-area public transportation (on both land and sea!); the electric commuter train operations on both the SP and the "Key" (as well as the NWP, which curtailed its electric train/ferryboat operations out of Sausalito in 1941) have always greatly intrigued and interested me.

The now-gone TRANSBAY TERMINAL (RIP) not only served Key System trains, but also, the "Red Electrics" of the SP (now the IER) and the SN; this terminal was truly bustling during the rush hours, in its all-too-brief heyday.

The IER Red Electrics stopped running in 1941; the SN also abandoned electric passenger service about the same time; until 1939, the SN used the Key System rails to reach the ferry pier.

GREYHOUND buses (among the the earliest Old Look YELLOW COACHES) were already in competition with the NWP electrics prior to the 1941 abandonment of the entire electric commuter rail system.........

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Thu May 11, 2017 12:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A rare photo showing the train departure board at the TRANSBAY TERMINAL, circa 1940.

Note that the Key System and the IER had far more deparures than the SN........(!!) Shocked

http://www.newdavesrailpix.com/sn/htm/sn068.htm

(courtesy: newdavesrailpix)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A stately SN train awaiting its highball out of the TRANSBAY TERMINAL, circa 1940.

Classic electrics like these indeed had a distinct aura of grace, pomp and dignity about them.......

http://www.newdavesrailpix.com/sn/htm/sn062.htm

(courtesy: newdavesrailpix)


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Thu May 11, 2017 11:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "new and improved" TRANSBAY TERMINAL (also, some history).......

http://www.bayrailalliance.org/transbay_terminal

(courtesy: BayRail Allliance)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A great site; be sure to click on the links which will take you to both KEY SYSTEM and SN photo albums.......

http://www.bayarearailfan.org

(Courtesy: Bay Area Railfan.org)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rare views showcasing the Key System electrics, pier, and ferryboats.......what an interesting and scenic commute this had to be, back in the day! Wink

http://www.keyrailpix.org/gallery2/v/keyrailmain/album07

(Courtesy: KeyRailPix.org)


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Thu May 11, 2017 12:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Photos of the massive blaze that destroyed the old Key Pier (and the ferryboat "PERALTA") in May of 1933.

Some electric rail cars were also destroyed, while laying over at the pier.......

http://www.gendisasters.com/california/9426/oakland-ca-ferry-peralta-fire-may-1933
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Introducing a new generation BART car...................

https://sf.curbed.com/2016/4/6/11380574/new-bart-car

(courtesy: sf.curbed.com)
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