Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

BART in Fernley?

This afternoon, Lisa and I had to go to Big R and then to Lowe's to get some supplies for work we're doing around the house. As I was heading home, I got on the freeway because it's easier to get from Lowe's (near exit 50) to our end of town than driving through Fernley proper. As we passed the former Truck Inn (now a large truck parking lot), Lisa spotted something unusual and asked me to go back, which I did, reversing at exit 46. We went deep into the truck parking lot, and sure enough, there was something you don't see in Fernley every day, and soon won't ever see again.

BART Car in Fernley

This is one of the new "Fleet of the Future" cars for Bay Area Rapid Transit. BART is effectively replacing their entire fleet, as most of the cars in the fleet are >40 years old and have logged more than a million miles. Three of the cars were parked here on trailers, being transported from a Bombardier plant in upstate New York by road. I think such equipment should be transported by rail, but I'm not the one making such decisions.

BART Car in Fernley

This first car is a type D car, with a driving cab at one end (right in this picture). The "teeth" protruding from the front of the car are part of the anti-intrusion system, and they mesh with the teeth from other cars to make it hard for people to get in-between the cars when they are coupled together. When a D car is being used as the leading or trailing unit in a train, the teeth on this end fold into the slots.

BART D Car (B End)

The teeth on the other (non-driving-cab) end are fixed in place because that end is never the leading or trailing end of the train.

BART Cars in Fernley

Parked a short distance away were two other new BART cars, including this type E car. This type of car does not have a driving cab. You can see the fixed "teeth" better in this shot.

BART Cars in Fernley

You have to have a driving cab at both ends of a BART train, but you can have any number of total cars up to the maximum system length of ten cars. Either D or E cars, or the older B (non-driving cab) and C (flat-nosed with driving cab) cars, can be elsewhere in the train. The iconic A cars (pointy nose driving cabs) can only be at the leading or trailing end of the train. While the swoop-nosed A cars made BART look cool, they are operationally cumbersome. Some A cars have been rebuilt into B cars. I think I recall BART saying that they intend to retain a small number of A cars, but eventually we can expect that nearly every BART train will be blunt-nosed.

BART Third Rail Panel

BART runs on electric third rail, and this is one of the paddles that normally engages with the third rail to power the train. If you've ever ridden BART, you may have noticed the safety posters talking about emergency evacuation cautioning you to never touch a third-rail paddle, because the paddles are hot even if not touching the third rail if any part of the train is energized, and 1000 V DC will kill you, and it will hurt the whole time you are dying. I couldn't resist touching this one since it's likely to be the only time I'll ever get to do so.

BART Car Equipment

Inasmuch as it's unlikely that I'll ever get another chance to do this, I took lots of photos of all of the various pieces of equipment slung beneath the car. Click through to my Flickr albums to see the rest of the pieces.

Bombardier is moving production of most of the rest of the "Fleet of the Future" to a plant in Pittsburg, California, so spotting these three BART cars moving through Fernley was a lucky break. Well done, Lisa, for noticing these pieces of equipment so we could see BART cars from a vantage point that few people ever have had or ever will.
Tags: bart, transit

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