January 18, 2018

Bart Fleet of the Future cars approved for passenger operation

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SAN FRANCISCO Bay Area Rapid Transit (Bart) is set to introduce its first Fleet of the Future cars into passenger service within the next few days after the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) granted conditional approval for public use of the vehicles.

Bart is investing $US 2.6bn in the fleet of 775 vehicles, which are being built at Bombardier’s Plattsburgh plant in New York state.

The first vehicles were delivered to California in April 2016 and Bart is currently using a 10-car pre-series train, which is formed of five D-cars and five E-cars, and based at the operator’s Hayward Yard facility for testing. A further 18 cars had been delivered to Bart by the end of December.

Bart submitted an Interim Safety Certification Verification Report to the CPUC Safety and Enforcement Division on October 30 2017, and CPUC staff participated in a test run on November 3 to verify that the vehicles’ systems were functioning correctly. However, during the test run the control systems did not recognise the train length, identifying the 10-car formation as a three-car train, with the doors failing to operate on the remaining seven cars.

The CPUC subsequently instructed Bart to provide a written explanation of the faults and take remedial action to ensure the correct operation of the vehicles’ systems.

Bart responded at the end of December and requested another test run with CPUC staff, which was successfully carried out on January 9. Conditional approval was therefore granted on January 17 for the use of the pre-series train in revenue service.

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