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Rail News: Passenger Rail

BART opens new crossover tracks to mitigate delays


Two new sets of crossover tracks are now in use on a busy Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) line, the agency announced yesterday.

Located along the Pittsburgh/Bay Point line between the Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill stations, the new tracks are part of the agency's $43 million Central Contra Costa Crossover Project.

The tracks are designed to allow trains to quickly cross over to the opposite side of the track in the event of a disabled train, trackside problem or maintenance crew, BART officials said in a press release.

BART board member Gail Murray said the crossover project represented the agency's largest track project in more a decade. While BART has other crossover tracks throughout its system, the project also marks the first time BART cut into the middle of its original tracks and inserted new crossovers, she said.

"Perhaps the best benefit is that it increases capacity on our most used line without requiring additional rail cars, which BART presently does not have," Murray said in a statement. "Passengers will soon see longer trains on this line because we can operate more efficiently."

The Walnut Creek Station crossover opened earlier this year, and it's been successful at mitigating delays, BART officials said. The Pleasant Hill Station, however, opened yesterday.

The crossovers also will allow trains to turn back at the Pleasant Hill Station, which is aimed at creating quicker loops back to San Francisco, BART officials said.

Meanwhile, BART on Tuesday debuted a new website highlighting "BARTable" events and activities — that is, events and activities nearest to the agency's train stations. The site,, features an events calendar, as well as special discounts, giveaways, dining articles biking trails and upcoming concerts.

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