BART says they know why new train car test failed last week

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BART suffered an embarrassment when its one and only new generation train car ran into a sand barrier five days ago on a test track in Hayward. We’re now learning what went wrong and why.

According to the transit agency, BART says it knows exactly what happened, because it was able to recreate the problem, pretty much guaranteeing it won't happen again.

The new BART car, loaded with sand bags and weighing in at 55 tons, ran into a safety sand barrier. At the time, driver training was going on, but the car was also hooked up to some test equipment to record how its systems were functioning.

As trainees applied the brakes at a low speed, the brake system failed and the car hit the safety barrier, but there was no damage to the car according to BART.

It turns out that that wire connecting the test equipment to the BART car shorted out because it was pinched by a cabinet door at the connection point.

"So, the car did not fail.  The operators did not do anything wrong.  In fact, they did everything that they could to apply the brakes and stop the vehicle," says Tamar Allen, BART's Chief of Engineering.

"We're gonna go back into testing and resume our normal testing.  The car's ready to go. We just need to implement a few precautions and we will continue," adds John Garnham, Director of BART's New Rail Car project.

BART says it’s on track to getting the first 10-car train into passenger service by the end of this year.