Not a Mirage: New BART Cars Appear During Evening Commute

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A BART "Fleet of the Future" car at the Warm Springs Station after a commute-hour test run on Monday, July 17. (Courtesy of Marie Teixeira)

Here's proof that not every BART story needs to focus on squalor in the stations or questions about crime on the system.

Monday evening, near the tail end of the evening commute, a neighbor who rides to and from BART's Warm Springs Station texted a couple of pictures of something that all BART patrons are waiting for: the agency's new "Fleet of the Future" train cars.

Spoiler alert:
You can't ride on the cars yet. But read on.

Our neighbor/informant said the train came down the line from Fremont, meaning it had been traveling BART's main line during regular business hours -- an apparent first.

BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost confirmed Tuesday that the train's appearance at Warm Springs was not a mirage.

"We have expanded the (testing) hours and we are testing on the main line during regular hours," Trost said in an email.

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For now, she added, six of the 10 cars from manufacturer Bombardier have been approved to roll on the main line, and all 10 should be available for use during regular hours by the end of July.

When will you, the paying BART public, get to ride on the new cars?

"We are still in testing," Trost said. "Once all testing is complete we can provide an update on when we can carry passengers."

Translation: There's no firm date yet. (From BART: More details on the testing process.)

A BART "Fleet of the Future" car at the Warm Springs Station after a commute hour test run on Monday, July 17. (Courtesy of Marie Teixeira)

Quebec-based Bombardier is under contract to build 775 cars at a factory in Plattsburgh, New York, on Lake Champlain. And yes, the Twitterverse reports, more cars are already on their way.

Here's a car spotted on the highway near Albany -- the New York one, not the East Bay one: