“Longer trains are once again running on the Red… and Orange… lines following ongoing cable replacement work between the Richmond and El Cerrito del Norte stations,” a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Press Release said on Friday, May 6th.
On March 8th, BART notified riders of the popular Red Line that service would be suspended due to “power issues” on the Richmond Branch. At the time, BART believed that the suspension would only last “a few days” as they worked to fix the problem.
In the weeks following the failure, BART temporarily suspended the Red line, and increased Orange line trains to 10-cars to accommodate the riders using the Red line. Two weeks later, they resumed the Red line by splitting Orange line trains in half and running 5-car trains on both the Red and Orange lines. While this seemed like the problem was fixed on the surface, the line still had limited capacity.
The cables that failed were from the 1970s, installed as a part of the initial system infrastructure and were due to be replaced as a part of BART’s ongoing system wide modernization project.
“BART had been working aggressively to replace its aging traction power cables before the incident in March and that work is continuing now with even greater urgency,” the same press release stated. “So far, BART has replaced 46 out of approximately 103 miles of… cable across the system.”
The replacement of these critical cables is being funded by measure RR, a $3.5 billion bond measure passed in 2016 by voters.
photo credit: James Tyler, at El Cerrito del Norte BART Station