BART service restored in East Bay following train derailment

Though BART service is now fully restored, officials say it could take a month to find out what caused a train to derail Friday night.
February 23, 2014 6:15:56 PM PST
Service was restored Sunday morning to a BART line after crews worked through the night to repair tracks damaged by a derailed train.

As gates opened at the Concord Station at 8 a.m. Sunday, their regularly scheduled time, they opened ready for passengers to board trains.

Train service was back to normal and as expected on a Sunday -- not very busy.

This weekend, while train service was stopped through the Concord, North Concord, and Pittsburg/Bay Point stations, some passengers said they simply drove to the first operational station they could get to in Pleasant Hill.

BART did set up a network of buses to shuttle passengers from stop-to-stop before catching the train.

Passengers say they are relieved to catch the trains where they normally do, and BART officials thanked repair crews for their quick work.

"I was happy cause I could maybe ask for a ride back down to SFO," Craig Petrovich said. "But heading back into town tonight and staying with my cousins and flying out in the morning."

"Well, some of the things we did were replacing sections of track, cutting it out, and replacing it with another 39-foot section of track," BART spokesperson Jim Allison said. "And this is something that is done on a regular basis while people are sleeping. Just as part of our normal maintenance repair process. So the fact that they had a big job to do was a challenge for our track and maintenance crews, but not something they hadn't handled before. The main thing was, they worked around the clock to get it done."

An out of service BART train went off the tracks just south of the Concord Station on Friday night. Only the train operator was aboard, and he didn't suffer any injuries.

Crews had to lift the damaged train cars off the rails and then spend more than a day fixing a 39-foot section of that track.

BART authorities say they are still investigating exactly why the train derailed.

Three years ago a BART train also derailed in nearly the identical spot.

BART spokesperson Jim Allison says when you use 104 miles of track, seven days a week, breakdowns are inevitable.

"If you're going to drive a car for a while, it's going to break down from time to time," he said. "That's what happened in this case. We had a breakdown. Fortunately no one was hurt, and fortunately we were able to get everything back up to normal by Sunday morning. And so the Monday morning commute should be normal as well."

Allison says the investigation into what happened will probably take a month.

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