Southern Pacific car 603 was built for “Red Car” suburban electric railway operation in the East Bay. It was part of class 58EMCB-1 which was built by American Car and Foundry in 1911. This car ran in the East Bay from the ferry piers in Alameda and Oakland on several lines going south as far as San Leandro and north to Albany. The car was built with large square windows in the front and rear and was painted dark olive green. The cars were repainted to Southern Pacific’s distinctive red starting in 1912 to improve their visibility in poor weather and at night. The cars received round porthole style end windows, reportedly to improve crew safety. The car had 3 and 2 seating and were very light for the number of passengers they carried. The ownership of these cars was assigned to several different Southern Pacific subsidiaries. This car was owned by South Pacific Coast (SPC) and carried these reporting marks on the side of the car until the IER took over.
Southern Pacific’s Oakland, Alameda and Berkeley East Bay service was reorganized into the Interurban Electric Railway on November 14, 1934. With the construction of the Bay Bridge, the ferry service was discontinued and the trains ran directly into San Francisco. In 1936 Southern Pacific entered into an agreement with the California Toll Bridge Authority to deed a portion of their equipment to the Authority in return for funds to adapt their equipment for coded cab signals, speed control, automatic car couplers, and high gates for operation across the Bay Bridge. The 603 was one of these cars deeded to and ownership passed to the Authority on abandonment of service in 1941. For several reasons the operation across the Bridge did not prove to be profitable. The last Red Train service in the East Bay was discontinued due to increasing financial loses on July 26, 1941.
This car sat unused until the start of the Second World War at which time it was stripped of its electrical equipment and sent to Utah for use on military installations there. After the war the car became surplus and the body was sold and used as a shed. It was purchased by the Bay Area Electric Railroad Association and moved to the Western Railway Museum.