Ten new train cars that BART said would be in service by Thanksgiving may miss their already delayed deadline. In a letter from the California Public Utilities Commission, obtained by 2 Investigates, state regulators said the cars failed a critical safety test and cannot be put into service until fixed and re-inspected.
In the letter, CPUC’s Director of Safety and Enforcement wrote “During a test run on November 3, 2017 with CPUC staff, the ten-car consists experienced a failure to recognize the 10-car lineup (consist) and only recognized a three-car consist [line-up]. In turn the Operator lost control of the passenger doors. The Operator was unable to open the doors at platform stops.”
This is the latest of a long list of project problems and delays reported by 2 Investigates. BART’s spokesman Jim Allison said they’re unsure if this latest issue will delay the delivery of the cars, but that they should know by the end of the week.
Allison said “Technical staff from Bombardier and BART are working cooperatively and on a priority basis to identify the root cause of this problem. That analysis must be completed and the repair identified before we can assess the impact, if any, on the planned operation of the cars in passenger service around Thanksgiving.”
Allison said it was too early to provide a timeline of the assessment. The CPUC has ordered BART to diagnose the issues and provide a detailed written explanation to CPUC staff regarding the cause of the failure and how it has been corrected.
In October, 2 Investigates reported on BART’s new “Fleet of the Future” and Canadian supplier Bombardier. The transit agency has a $2.5 billion dollar contract with the maker. After teaming up with investigative reporters in New York and Toronto, we learned of similar problems with Bombardier projects around the world. Watch 2 Investigates' previous report below.