A2 car scrappings resumed this month (October), with 4 such examples thus far: 1218, 1233, 1258, 1270.
With some scrapping earlier this year and last year due to crashes, alongside the 1208 of 2020, this leaves 51 A2 cars left (total count was 59 A2 cars).
Built 1973 as A car 218. Rebuilt in 2000 as A2 car 1218.
Only A car with single seats.
Built 1973 as A car 233. Rebuilt in 2002 as A2 car 1233.
Built 1975 as A car 258. Final acceptance on 9/11/1975 (Day 1 + 3 years). Rebuilt in 2002.
Patch below left cab side window.
Built 1975 as A car 270. Rebuilt in May 2001.
The most recent addition to my number plate collection is a Y end number plate from B2 car 1809. This is the story of the car.
Like all other B2 cars numbered 1801-1913, the 1809 was originally built as an A car. In the 1809's case, it was built as A car 237, with a final inspection date of 3/7/1973 and receipt of delivery on 6/26/1973. Roughly speaking it was about the 214th car delivered, of a series of orders totaling 450 revenue cars.
Kenneth Clyde Jenkins captured the 237 at Daly City a few times in the mid 1970s. Here are some of his pictures, now in my collection.
In the late 1970s to early 1980s, BART Hayward Shop converted 35 A cars to B cars, allowing for longer weekday trains and enough cars for weekend operation. Many of these cars were previously damaged in accidents, fires, or other incidents.
It's hard to say at the moment what was the exact reason behind the conversion, but A car 237 was involved in an ATC-related incident at Richmond station on September 30, 1975.
The A to B car conversion was underway by 1980 and A car 237 was converted into B car 809 (9th conversion) during this time. From the 1980s to late 1990s, it rolled as B car 809. In total, it rolled about 4 million miles as A car 237/B car 809.
The entire remaining A and B car fleet was rebuilt during the turn of the century to allow for another couple decades of service. All B cars were rebuilt into B2 cars, including car 809, which became B2 car 1809 in 2000.
The 1809 rolled throughout the system, and in its final years was assigned to Concord and later Richmond yard.
I last saw the 1809 at Hayward yard, stored awaiting decommissioning on June 16, 2023. It was decommissioned just a few weeks later, on June 30, 2023 - a few days after reaching 50 years on the property (where it began, and ended at Hayward Yard).
A Y-end (once the cab end, when it was an A car) number plate from the 1809 resides in my collection, where it remains as a reminder of a well-traveled, and well-storied BART car.
Let's take a look at another random A2 car - this time, the old 1258.
Originally built as A car 258 in 1975, by Rohr, and delivered to BART on June 18, 1975. Things were so bad back then that the final A cars, including 258, were delivered without carborne ATC equipment - they were essentially mothballed right out of the factory. Like many other late A cars, the 258 lost her motors and didn't enter service till the late 1970s.
She was rebuily into A2 car 1258 in 2002 by Bombardier, and 21 years later is still rolling around the system on Orange and Red line trains.
She has a little patch below the left cab window.
The first BART car off of the Rohr assembly line was A car #101, one of ten prototype cars designed to resolve planned and unplanned “bugs” with the BART cars. The 101 was delivered in August 1970, and was the only A car rolling around until mid-November, thus the picture of this short “one car train.” Also note the silver painted cab – the prototype cars had an odd variety of “liveries.”
To note, at the time there were three boxy “Laboratory Cars” which also operated up and down the “[Southern] Alameda line.” They were originally built for operation on the Diablo Test Track located in Concord.
At the conclusion of the prototype car testing program, most of the “dented and battered” prototype cars were replaced with production cars of the same number. The original 101 was scrapped and the new replacement 101 rolled for a few years until becoming B car 821, thence B2 car 1821 (and scrapped).
B2 Car 1806 is, on first look, just any old B car. It runs in the middle of trains, and seats 53 people. It has a few smells and a few bulbs are out.
Underneath all that, B2 car 1806 is one of many historic BART cars.
The 1806 was originally built by Rohr as A car 117. It was among the first two dozen BART legacy cars built. It was built in Chula Vista, CA, and delivered to BART's Hayward Yard on 5/16/1972. It was used for pre-revenue testing of the BART system, and entered service on BART's opening day, Septmeber 11, 1972.
By the 1980s, many A cars were worn out and/or damaged. BART was a new railroad and in some ways, still learning the ropes - there are accounts of runaway cars, collisions, and fire damage during these early days.
Car 117, alongside 34 other A cars, were destined to become B cars. The unique design of the A cars facilitated such conversion (which was miles cheaper and faster than building new B cars). A car 117 became B car 806 in about late 1980. The "new" 806 rolled in service until its midlife refurbishment in 2001.
As a product of the refurbishment, B car 806 became B2 car 1806. The 1806 is still in service, far beyond the original intention of its designers. This old car will probably be scrapped this year or next year, but if anything, it has carried the millions through thick and thin for over 50 years.
The latest car number plate added to the collection comes from (what was once) car 1902. Like all 1800s and 1900s B2 cars, the 1902 was formerly an A car. In this case, 1902 was A car 189 (pictured), and delivered from Rohr in 1973, entering service in 1974. In 1999, ADTranz rebuilt this A car into a B2 car, and it rolled in revenue service until its scrapping back in January of this year. Number plate purchased from BART via Railgoods.
Final resting place of part of 1902 - cherished part of the ATP Transit BART collection.
The first car delivered by Rohr was A car 101, a prototype car used to identify and resolve various bugs with the new cars' construction and simulated operation.
The 101 rolled out of Chula Vista (on a trailer) and was delivered to Hayward Shops on 8/27/1970. Unique among the fleet, the cab of 101 was painted grey/silver - other protoype cars had different colors of cabs. For about a month, A car 101 was the only Rohr car delivered, so there are a few pics of this single car rolling down the A line (attached).
Like most of the protoype cars, the 101 was returned to Rohr (c. 6/1972) and scrapped. From what I recall reading, Rohr decided it was not worth the effort to rebuild these A cars, and replaced them with new A cars (A car 101 II -> B car 821 -> B2 car 1821 in this case).
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.