HO Scale Logo  HO Scale Trolley Division GSMRM Logo
  Updated: June 04, 2020 
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The Trolley Division depicts the East Bay Traction Co., modelled after the Oakland Key System. By 1912, all street railways in the Oakland area were consolidated into one company which would be known as the Key System. One major component of the Oakland transit operations was trans-bay service connecting Oakland with San Francisco. Trains connected with ferry boats until 1939, when the Bay Bridge was completed. For many years, the Key System operated the local and trans-bay services separately. In addition, the Southern Pacific Railroad operated a competing trans-bay electric rail service until 1941. In 1960, the Alameda Contra Costa County Transit District became responsible for public transportation in the East Bay area, acquiring the Key System. The last streetcars ran in 1948, and the last trans-bay trains ran in 1958.

A distinctive feature of the trolley layout is the scratch-built model of the Key Route Inn at 22nd (West Grand Ave) and Broadway, Oakland. Guests could catch a trans-bay train every 15 minutes to the 1915 San Francisco World's Fair (Panama-Pacific International Exposition). The hotel burnt down in the early 1930.

Model of the Key Route Inn

The original Key Route Inn


The Trackplan

We offer a brief description of our trackplan rather than a graphical representation, because the layout is relatively compact and all trackage is close to the public walkway and readily seen. It is also the first Division of the HO Layout that one comes across, walking from the Main entrance.

Most of the trackage is contained within the main town of Melrose, adjacent to the HO standard gauge SP and WP Mainlines of the Canyon Division. Trackage winds around the town between the yard and car barn, with an extension running along the west wall of the building to the town, yard and industries at Havenscourt.

There is an additional line from the Oakland Mole building to the upper level of the Oakland 16th St.Station. This has not yet been powered up. But Yes, all Trolley lines do operate off the overhead catenary wires (tracks are the electrical ground).


At A Glance


Name: East Bay Traction
Locale: Oakland and nearby areas
Prototype: Oakland Key System
Period: 1920's and 1930's
Track: Code 70
Min. radius 18" interurban and 6 " city
Control: 2 tethered cabs


Melrose Key Route Inn, Broadway & Shafter Avenue Shafter Avenue The Trolley barn Atlas Iron Works, Havenscourt Havenscourt stockyardyard


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