BART shuts down Transbay Tube due to report of smoke

Gabrielle Lurie/Special to The S.F. ExaminerA broken section of rail that led to major BART delays could be from a batch of bad rail

A failed electrical transformer and reports of smoke in the Transbay Tube snarled BART traffic in and out of San Francisco for most of Sunday.

In the middle of the day, an electrical problem on the tracks led to a failure at an electrical subsation on the Oakland side of the tube, BART spokesman Jim Allison said. Following the outage, smoke was reported at 1:50 p.m. on the tracks that carry trains into San Francisco from the East Bay, spokesman Linton Johnson said.

The electrical outage caused BART to shut down the one set of tracks immediately. Shortly after, reports of smoke wafting into the portion of the tunnel that carries trains from San Francisco to the East Bay prompted a closure of the entire Transbay Tube.

Service was restored at 2:40 p.m. to the one line that usually carries trains into San Francisco. BART service in both directions had to use the one track, which led to major delays across the entire system — up to 20 minutes, according to BART officials.

The Pittsburg/BayPoint-SFO line was the only one operating through the tube Sunday afternoon and evening. Riders on all of the other BART lines had to transfer.

For instance, trains traveling between Dublin/Pleasanton and Daly City were shut down. Passengers taking this line into San Francisco had to transfer at MacArthur Station, which added another 20 minutes to their trips, according to BART officials.

BART was also forced to send additional trains to the Oakland Coliseum to handle passengers attending the Raiders homegame against the Denver Broncos.

The cause of the electrical problems was being investigated Sunday evening, but BART was working to make sure the system was safe before resuming service. All trains were running on 10-15 minute delays by late Sunday evening.

“We want to make sure it’s clear and safe to go through either side,” Johnson said.

esherbert@sfexaminer.com

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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