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Rail News: Mechanical

New BART rail car crashes at testing facility


During a trial run at Bay Area Rapid Transit's (BART) testing facility last week, one of the agency's new "Fleet of the Future" rail cars crashed into a sand box after a brake problem.

One of BART's new 'Fleet of the Future' rail cars.
Photo: BART's YouTube account

A wire running from testing equipment to the car shorted out when it was pinched in a cabinet door, causing the car's auxiliary power supply to shut down, BART officials said Wednesday.

As a result, once the fluid in the accumulator had been expended it couldn't be replenished, which meant that the friction brakes didn't have enough fluid to completely stop the car.

That type of failure can only occur with a single car because other cars in a train would normally carry through the braking process, BART officials said.

The crash occurred as the car was moving under 5 mph.

There was no malfunction of the train or operator error during the April 22 incident, agency officials said. The crash won't affect the rollout of BART's new rail cars, some of which are slated to enter service in fall.

"The car functioned exactly as it was supposed to function given the conditions, and the operators did exactly what they were supposed to do," said BART chief Maintenance and Engineering Officer Tamar Allen.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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