New BART train goes off rail in Hayward

OAKLAND (KTVU) -- A BART train went off its rails Friday afternoon in Hayward, officials said. Pictures from the scene show a train that appears to have had at least one wheel that left the track.

The accident occurred shortly before 2 p.m. at Industrial Parkway and Mission Street in Hayward. No injuries have been reported but there were about 10 operators and trainees on board when the accident occurred, authorities said.

The test car, said to have cost around $2 million, was on the test track between Hayward and Union City when the incident occurred, BART spokeswoman Denise Gonzales said.

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She said the car was traveling no faster than 5-10 miles when the incident happened. It was not immediately clear what caused the accident, but the damage was said to be minimal. 

"We were training our new train operators on them, but it's not clear whether it was operator error or a mechanical failure or some combination of the two," said Taylor Huckaby, a BART spokesman.

"Not reassuring at all. I pay a lot to ride BART every month," said Stacy Jordan a BART passenger.  

"That's why we have these test tracks for things that go wrong when they're on the test track and not when they're carrying passengers so that's the takeaway from here...to iron out all the kinks and familiarize our people with the equipment before it's out on that main track," said Huckaby

The Bay Area transit agency has been expecting to receive some new cars over the next few weeks. The Bombardier Transit Corporation has been building 775 train cars for BART at a facility in Plattsburgh, N.Y., and the first test car expected to arrive was set to be followed by nine others throughout the year so the agency can make its first new 10-car test train.

BART officials have previously said the face of the new car has a more modern feel than their current aging cars but still manages to keep the transit agency's iconic look.

BART has funding to pay for 775 new train cars but its goal is to find funding to bring that number up to 1,081 to increase the number of seats in its fleet by 49 percent.

 

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