Heat wave triggers warped BART tracks, hot trains

ByAnser Hassan KGO logo
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Commuters complain of hot BART trains during heat wave
The record-setting heat wave has caused some BART trains to become hot and tracks to warp.

As passengers get ready to board BART at the Dublin-Pleasanton station, the extreme heat continues to take its toll.

"BART trains are just ridiculously hot!" says Ryan O'Donnell. He rides BART several days a week. He called Tuesday's commute "brutal."

"People just standing there, dripping sweat. Everyone is just fanning themselves," explains O'Donnell.

He isn't the only passenger complaining about the hot temperatures inside BART trains over the past few days.

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"It was a packed crowd of people. I could feel the air conditioning working, but it wasn't doing anything because of the outside temperature. It was crazy!" says Jim from Pleasanton, a BART passenger who only gave his first name.

The record-setting heat also caused BART's train tracks to warp, making for a bumpy ride and long delays in some locations. BART crews also had to set up air conditioners in train control rooms to keep equipment from overheating.

BART did not respond to requests for comment.

"Oh gosh, it's been atrocious! It's not easy to deal with. Drink lots of water, and keep yourself hydrated," says Shreya Hegde, a Dublin resident, who commutes to work in downtown San Francisco.

She says this heat wave has been so extreme, that it reminds her of summer back home in her native India, where temperatures can reach up to 120 degrees.

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"It's like we have forgotten the heat after coming here!" she says with laugh.

O'Donnell expects a long, hot summer. He says a good attitude and lots of water will go a long way over the next few months.

"You know, it's just going to be hot, so try and dress cool. Always try and keep water on you. And good spirits! That's very important," says O'Donnell.

The cooling temperatures will likely ease some of BART's issues. Except for a minor power outage due to a maintenance issue at the start of Wednesday's commute, BART trains in and out of the Dublin-Pleasanton station were all on time through the morning commute.