BART By Maurits90 (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Electrical Problem Shuts Down BART in California

Service resumed before rush hour ended and crews replaced a damaged rail by early afternoon.

An electrical problem on a BART train filled a car with smoke in Oakland, closing stations in the East Bay yesterday morning for five hours. Service resumed before rush hour ended and crews replaced a damaged rail by early afternoon.

According to a report from KQED News, an electrical spark, or arc, caused smoke to enter the rear car. Three riders who kicked through a window and walked out onto the 60-ft-high elevated tracks did not follow proper safety procedures, a BART spokesman said. All three suffered minor injuries, including a broken hand.

The spokesman said that from what they could tell right now, in the preliminary investigation, the incident had nothing to do with the aging infrastructure.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, the track's electrified third rail supplies 1,000V of electricity to a collector shoe extending from the bottom of the train. If the electricity fails to reach the collector shoe for any reason, the electrical current can arc to the ground or toward the train.

BART now will conduct an internal investigation, including an inspection of the three-car train and the 60-ft section of the third rail that was replaced.

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