History of KSTL #2103
by Jim Husing
Ex-Key System Transit Lines (KSTL) #2103 was one of twenty-one 1958 CMC TĐH4801’s (2100-2120) delivered new to KSTL in April 1958 with serial numbers 527-547. Delivered with serial number 530, 2103 has the distinction of being the only 4801 restored to KSTL original “fruit salad” colors of white, green, and pumpkin orange. Its sister 2120 was the very last 4801 manufactured.
The twenty-one TDH4801’s ordered by KSTL replaced the electric bridge cars that provided service from the eastbay into San Francisco operating on five rail lines over the Bay Bridge. The final day of operation of the bridge cars was on April 20, 1958. KSTL had originally wanted to take 800 series White 788’s out of dead storage to replace the bridge cars, but the local PUC insisted that KSTL buy new coaches to replace the bridge cars.
KSTL was sold to the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) which started operation on October 1, 1960. 2103 was the first coach to go into service for AC Transit (owl service on the I route, driven by Guy R. Foster). AC Transit continued using the 2100’s on the bridge routes, but as the coaches became older they also saw service on local routes, including BART bus service routes and service in Fremont.
For reasons lost to a passage of time, KSTI ordered the 4801’s without a thermomatic vent above the destination sign. KSTL had originally ordered 30 TDH4801’s in 1953 when CMC first came out with the model 4801. Those coaches with fleet numbers 2100-2129 and serial numbers 036-065 were diverted to MCL in Los Angeles due to a strike by KSTL at the time of delivery. They became MCL 301-330. These coaches were a l s o absent the thermomatic vents.
2103 last saw service from July 1979 to February 1980 along with 2111 and 2115 as a training coach on loan to Santa Clara County Transit. She was retired upon her return to AC Transit in early 1980. She was restored in order to help celebrate AC Transit’s 20th anniversary in October 1930.