8028 at Macy and Alameda

Ross Fry Collection, Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

Ross Fry Collection, Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

By Ralph Cantos

Los Angeles Transit Lines Trolley Coach no. 8028 pulls up to the streetcar “safety zone” at Macy & Alameda Streets in downtown L.A. Number 8028 was one of 40 Trolley Coaches ordered by the Key System. For unknown reasons, the Key System gave up on their plans for a trolley coach system. All 40 of them were sent south to Los Angeles, some in Key System paint, others in gray primer. LATL had BIG plans for the Trolley Coach. There was to have been three Trolley Coach lines; Line #1-Alvarado Street, Line #2- City Terrace and Line #3- West 6th / 3rd Streets.

The 8000s were built by ACF Brill in 1946-47. Another 40 Trolley Coaches came in late 1948 numbered 9001 to 9040. The only difference between the 8000 and 9000 TC’s was the larger front windshield on the 9000s. The last 30 TC’s were the 9100’s numbered 9101 to 9130. These last TC’s were of the newer and last design TC built by Brill. Line 1 never came to be, perhaps because the 110 TC’s on hand were just enough to cover the 2 and 3 lines. By the time the LAMTA scuttled the 5 PCC rail lines and the two TC lines. all the 8000s were in dead storage at Division 1. The LAMTA had cut the service to the vanishing point, only about 70 TCs were needed for what remained of the service.

The LAMTA did the same thing with the PCC rail service. When the LAMTA converted the S line to PCC operation, there was a shortage of about 20 PCCs. Buses were used on the V line in rush hour service for about a year. Then the service reductions started, and by the end of 1962, almost 30 PCCs were in dead storage at Vernon Yard; and as the late Paul Harvey would always say, “and now you know the rest of the story.”

Ross Fry Collection, Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

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  • Steve Crise

    It seems as thought the cancellation of the trolley coach lines on the Key System had a lot to do with its new owners, the National City Lines, who gained control of the Key System in 1946, less than a year after the Key System made their purchases of the trolley coaches. This was pulled from a posting on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_System

    The Key System had ordered 40 trolley coaches from ACF-Brill in 1945 to convert the East Bay trolley lines. The new NCL management canceled the Key’s trackless program in 1946 before wire changes were made, and diverted the order (some units of which were already painted for the Key and delivered to Oakland) to its own Los Angeles Transit Lines where they ran until 1963.[12] The last Key streetcars ran in 1948, replaced by buses.

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