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Rail News: Mechanical

BART seeks source of rail-car damage


Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has stopped running trains over a section of track to pinpoint the source of an electrical problem that damaged 50 rail cars.

The section of track is located between stations in Pittsburg and Concord, Calif. Trains traveling over the track experienced a high spike in voltage that damaged a piece of propulsion equipment on rail cars, BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said in an update yesterday.

"We have shut down that section of track because we can't afford to damage any more train cars; we already have a limited number of cars in our fleet," Trost said.

In the interim, BART is providing bus service for riders traveling between the two stations.

On a typical weekday morning commute, BART runs 590 cars. Yesterday, the agency ran only 534.

Earlier this week, BART crews found no abnormalities when they performed inch-by-inch inspections of wayside equipment, Trost said. The agency is bringing in power control and protection experts to help resolve the issue, she added.

PG&E Corp., which provides electricity in the area, also has been on site to help agency crews determine the problem's source.

It could take months to fully repair the damaged cars, according to a local CBS affiliate.

At a press conference yesterday, BART Chief Mechanical Officer Dave Hardt said he had never seen an issue of this magnitude, the news station reported.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/18/2016