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).
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.
"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.