The oldest remaining car of the legacy fleet is a B2 car numbered 1501. It was built 52 years ago as B car 501, and third legacy fleet car ever built (see note 1), delivered in December 1970.
As part of the midlife rebuilding of the A and B cars (awarded to ADtranz/Bombardier), B car 501 was rebuilt and renumbered into B2 1501 (See note 3). As of summer 2022, the 1501 is assigned to Daly City Yard and can be found in the middle of Blue line trains (alongside others) from time to time.
Note 1: A cars 101 and 102 were the first and second cars built, respectively. They were both replaced and scrapped following the conclusion of the prototype car testing.
Note 2: Three B cars (501-503) and one A car (107) were kept following prototype car testing. The line numbers are as follows: 501-3; 502-5; 503-6; 107-10
Note 3: The original A and B cars were built in Chula Vista, CA, and rebuilt in Pittsburg, CA. Most of the cars have never left California (outside A cars 111, 191 and 246).
BART Progress Reports (1970) via Western Railway Museum Archives
Pacific News (August 1978)
Modern Heavy Rail by Andre K.
BART Fleet List v. 5.6.7
Comments and corrections welcome.
At about 10:15 AM, Monday, October 2, 1972, Train 307 from MacArthur, with brand new A car 143 leading and "Day 1 veteran" A car 118 trailing, overshot Fremont station and plowed into the parking lot, injuring four passengers and the train attendant. Fortunately, Washington Hospital is next door to Fremont station so the response was timely.
This accident was attributed to a faulty 27 mph crystal oscillator on a printed circuit board, which instead of signaling the train to slow down to 27 mph, sped it up to almost 70 mph (66 mph when at A85 gate C). The train attendant did all that was possible to stop the train, but even then, the braking was inadequate; the train was speeding through the center of platform 2 at 42-50 mph and impacted the sandpile at about 26-33 mph (sources debate speeds), landing in the parking lot. The accident brought national attention to the safety of BART, alongside significant changes to carborne ATC equipment alongside changes at Fremont station.
A car 143 never carried another rider but it found a new life as a B car. It was converted into B car 826 by Hayward Shop forces by the end of 1981, and rolled again, this time as a standard B car. As part of the A and B car rebuilding during the turn of the century, B car 826 was rebuilt and renumbered into B2 car 1826. As of August 2022, it is assigned to Concord yard and can be seen in the middle of Yellow line trains, from time to time. A keen eye may recognize a few scars from its ill-fated trip a half century ago. B2 car 1826, in my opinion, has earned a place as one of the most historical transit vehicles in history.
Photo credits belong to the Prelinger Library (Therkelsen clippings) and Western Railway Museum, and a private collection.
"The Two Bagger" is meant to be a place to store more "blog" style posts on various cars, pictures, and random tidbits. At BART, a "two bagger" is a rather informal name for a two car train. Two car trains rolled in revenue service back in 1972.