BART physical railroad connections

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BART physical railroad connections

Postby theseaandalifesaver » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:19 pm

Does the BART system in San Fran have any physical connections to the railroad network?
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Re: BART physical railroad connections

Postby electricron » Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:15 pm

theseaandalifesaver wrote:Does the BART system in San Fran have any physical connections to the railroad network?

They can't because:
A) they are regulated by the FTA, while the railroad network is regulated by the FRA.
B) they have different gauges , BART uses Indian gauge - 5 ft 6 in - while the rail network uses Standard gauge - 4 ft 8.5 in - .
They used different gauges on purpose to discourage freight trains from using the tunnel under the Bay.
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Re: BART physical railroad connections

Postby deathtopumpkins » Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:49 pm

electricron wrote:
theseaandalifesaver wrote:Does the BART system in San Fran have any physical connections to the railroad network?

They can't because:
A) they are regulated by the FTA, while the railroad network is regulated by the FRA.


That doesn't preclude them from having a connection to the national rail network. In fact, such connections are common among rapid transit systems, in order to facilitate deliveries of new rolling stock, among other reasons.

Of course this is a moot point given the gauge difference though.
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Re: BART physical railroad connections

Postby Tommy Meehan » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:16 am

Just for the record, the decision to use a 5'6" gauge on the BART system has to do with it being a brand new system designed from the ground up back in the 1960s. This is from the BayRail Alliance website, quoting a 1965 magazine article.

Western Railroader June 1965 Vol 2806 Issue 305: “Clara (the test car) arrived at Concord from Sacramento in a special Sacramento Northern train. She rode on a WP flat car instead of on the rails since she has a 5′ 6″ gauge, nearly a foot wide than the 4' 8.5″ standard gauge used by most existing transit systems and all the nation's railroads. Parsons Brinckerhoff-Tudor Bechtel, the district's consulting engineers, said that exhaustive studies show the wide gauge provides greater stability and smoother riding qualities for the rapid transit trains.”


Even at the time some railroaders scoffed at this and said the design consultants were basically "reinventing the wheel."
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Re: BART physical railroad connections

Postby Tadman » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:53 pm

deathtopumpkins wrote:
electricron wrote:
theseaandalifesaver wrote:Does the BART system in San Fran have any physical connections to the railroad network?

They can't because:
A) they are regulated by the FTA, while the railroad network is regulated by the FRA.


That doesn't preclude them from having a connection to the national rail network. In fact, such connections are common among rapid transit systems, in order to facilitate deliveries of new rolling stock, among other reasons.

Of course this is a moot point given the gauge difference though.


What he said. Quite a few rapid transits have connections to freight railroads, including CTA and NYCTA. That does not make it FRA-regulated. The only rapid transit that comes to mind as FRA-regulated is PATH, and I think that has more to do with the Pennsy ownership legacy and the fact that PATH trains once shared mains with PRR mainlines trains. You've also got SIRT, which although is not FRA-regulated, has FRA-compliant signals on account of the B&O ownership legacy. Now if you want to really confuse things, you've got Skokie Swift that has FTA oversight and signals despite CNSM legacy, and the north end of the red/purple line in Chicago that was once MILW trackage, and has no FRA regulation ever.

It's a fact intensive issue.
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Re: BART physical railroad connections

Postby electricron » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:28 pm

Connections being there or not, you will never find a transit train regulated by the FTA running in service on tracks regulated by the FRA, Never! Vehicle deliveries on their own wheels with the transit train out of service may or may not be possible - but the gauge difference of BART trains make it impossible. Remember, the original question was specifically about BART.
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Re: BART physical railroad connections

Postby BART2PV » Wed May 20, 2015 8:37 pm

Hi! I worked @ BART for over 26 years. YES, there is ONE connection to the National Railway Network. It is located at Hayward Yard, and it has NEVER been used. Way back when the system was still being built, the original idea was that the original BART passenger cars would be delivered using the connection. The trucks would be standard gauge trucks for the journey from ROHR in San Diego, and the undercar equipment would be installed along with BART gauge motorized trucks at the Hayward Yard. The cars in transport would be hooked to a consist of regular railcars while in transit from San Diego. NEVER happened for reasons I don't know.
When the time came to deliver - was all done by TRUCK, each car was configured as a trailer, along with the BART trucks (wheels) and pulled by a rig from San Diego up I-5, every BART car was done this way; and all cars purchased later - C1, C2, as well as the rebuilds -A1, A2 - were done the same way. The Bombardier cars will be delivered by truck as well.

I am not sure if the connection is still visible on the road after the parking lots by Hayward Yard,as it may be paved over now, but looking through the gate you can see an "extra rail on the inside of the track nearest the fence by the front entrance which would have been the track set used for delivery. Of course once the car would have been detrucked and rechecked Bart gauge, that spur was irrelevant to all moves in/out of the shop and it still is!!
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Re: BART physical railroad connections

Postby Fan Railer » Tue May 26, 2015 3:58 am

BART2PV wrote:Hi! I worked @ BART for over 26 years. YES, there is ONE connection to the National Railway Network. It is located at Hayward Yard, and it has NEVER been used. Way back when the system was still being built, the original idea was that the original BART passenger cars would be delivered using the connection. The trucks would be standard gauge trucks for the journey from ROHR in San Diego, and the undercar equipment would be installed along with BART gauge motorized trucks at the Hayward Yard. The cars in transport would be hooked to a consist of regular railcars while in transit from San Diego. NEVER happened for reasons I don't know.
When the time came to deliver - was all done by TRUCK, each car was configured as a trailer, along with the BART trucks (wheels) and pulled by a rig from San Diego up I-5, every BART car was done this way; and all cars purchased later - C1, C2, as well as the rebuilds -A1, A2 - were done the same way. The Bombardier cars will be delivered by truck as well.

I am not sure if the connection is still visible on the road after the parking lots by Hayward Yard,as it may be paved over now, but looking through the gate you can see an "extra rail on the inside of the track nearest the fence by the front entrance which would have been the track set used for delivery. Of course once the car would have been detrucked and rechecked Bart gauge, that spur was irrelevant to all moves in/out of the shop and it still is!!


I believe this is what you are referring to...
https://www.google.com/maps/@37.6081155 ... !1e3?hl=en
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Re: BART physical railroad connections

Postby theseaandalifesaver » Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:27 pm

What was the reason for the different gauges?
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Re: BART physical railroad connections

Postby ExCon90 » Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:54 pm

Read Tommy Meehan's post above dated Feb. 24--that pretty well sums it up. It did, however, provide a roomier interior for passengers, which may have been a contributing factor.
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Re: BART physical railroad connections

Postby Tadman » Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:18 pm

BART trains are quite smooth and roomy. I like them a lot.

Toronto also runs broad gauge subway. Supposedly that was to keep CP from buying it during the private years and turning it into a new ROW to reach downtown.
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Re: BART physical railroad connections

Postby lpetrich » Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:44 pm

theseaandalifesaver wrote:What was the reason for the different gauges?

The reason that I recall is improved stability when crossing the Golden Gate Bridge -- they were hoping to build the system out to Marin County.
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