BART officials now believe metallic dust is to blame for the mysterious power surges that knocked out nearly two dozen train cars in the East Bay Friday, and two similar incidents last year.
BART workers first started noticing problems with the cars at around 10:30 a.m. Friday between the North Concord/Martinez and Pittsburg/Bay Point stations, said spokesman Jim Allison. The agency ultimately switched to shuttle trains at 1:30 p.m., after the power surges had disabled 22 train cars. They used the shuttle train until about 9:30 that night when normal service resumed, he said.
Allison didn’t have an exact figure Monday for the number of disabled trains that have since been repaired, but he said the car shortage is putting the agency in a bit of a bind. BART had 546 train cars in service Monday afternoon, but Allison said it typically aims to have about 595 cars running at any given time.