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Friday, May 31, 2013

BART Delays: Details Sketchy on Maintenance Vehicles' Collision

Posted By on Fri, May 31, 2013 at 11:59 AM

click to enlarge And there goes your morning...
  • And there goes your morning...

A major BART inconvenience creates ripples -- not so much like a smooth pebble tossed in a pristine pond but a foul object deposited into a stagnant puddle.

Muni begins to resemble a large sardine can, with our own bodily fluids taking on the role served by olive oil, cottonseed oil, or vegetable oil in the realm of canned fish. Cars flood the roads. Bicyclists are menaced. The Seventh Seal is opened and, lo, something like a great mountain burning with fire is thrown in the sea, and a third of the sea becomes blood.

It can ruin your morning.

San Franciscans are all too familiar with the ramifications of transit failures. What boggles the mind a bit more is the scenario that led to it in the first place. How could two maintenance vehicles colliding take out 380 feet of track?

See Also: Expect Major BART Delays

BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said the mishap occurred at 2:35 a.m. when a "self-powered flat car" moving down the hill between West Oakland station and the transbay tube rear-ended a track-welding pickup called a "high-railer."

The flat car then pushed the high-railer along, ripping up 380 feet of track and the insulators for the electric third rail. Trost believes people on each vehicle leaped to safety -- implying a rather slow collision and ensuing track-ripping grind. So, that's what we know. Here's what we don't:

  • How did this mishap occur?

  • How were the vehicles stopped? Was power cut to the tracks or did they simply grind to a halt?

  • Was anyone injured?

  • How fast was the flat car traveling when it smacked the high-railer, and how fast were both vehicles traveling when the workers purportedly bailed out?

  • If the accident occurred at 2:35 a.m., how come "alerts" weren't sent out until after 3 a.m.?

More when we know more.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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