Home Open Account Help 210 users online

Western Railroad Discussion > BART ???'s


Date: 04/14/03 14:14
BART ???'s
Author: tmengineman

Someone in another post stated that the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) system is "wide guage"?? Shed some light on that system please...

Thanks!



Date: 04/14/03 14:17
Re: BART ???'s
Author: tcnr

5 feet between the rails, normal North American is 4 ft 8 inches. (I think that's rounded off as well). Not sure why BART thought they were so clever, everything they buy has to be unique.



Date: 04/14/03 14:24
Re: BART ???'s
Author: zephyrus

Yeah, thinks its 5' 3" or something.

As I was told the tale, the design/build company on BART (was it Rohr?) did this for more stability in curves, wider aisles and seats and lower center of gravity. In general, good idea, but it has forced custom or modified engineering and construction on everything BART.

IIRC, the Wash DC metro is the same design and company, but standard gauge. Wonder how different, it at all, ops, procurement and maintanence costs are per mile and per passenger for both systems.



Date: 04/14/03 15:01
Re: BART ???'s
Author: stash

I always thought BART had a 6-ft. gauge. At any rate, the wide cars are much more comfortable than standard.



Date: 04/14/03 15:39
Re: BART gauge
Author: timz

So far we've heard 5-0, 5-3, 6-0. I'll guess 5 ft 6 inches.



Date: 04/14/03 15:41
Re: BART ???'s
Author: tcnr

Not including that funny looking rail on the stilts.



Date: 04/14/03 15:46
Re: BART ???'s
Author: karldotcom

It is derived from the Roman chariot ruts found in old SF by Sir Francis Drake.



Date: 04/14/03 16:08
Re: BART ???'s
Author: john1082

http://bart.gov/about/history/systemFacts.asp

According to their web site, 5'6"



Date: 04/14/03 16:12
Re: BART ???'s
Author: tcnr

Oh well, they say Memory is the second thing that you lose, I forget what the first thing was. Maybe it was track guages.



Date: 04/14/03 21:06
Re: BART ???'s
Author: .007

You young people do not remember when Bart was sold to the Bay Area. The big deal was that the system was to be entirely new engineering from start to finish. Nothing was allowed to be standard as that was "old Stuff" The tunnels under the Bay were touted as "Entirely new design"

Needless to say, after it was sold, they used as many standard bits and parts as possible but the guage was too big a deal to back down from.

At least it prevented freight trains from being switched at night like a lot of streetcars and inurbans did.

Swift



Date: 04/14/03 22:47
Re: BART ???'s
Author: dnry122

I suppose it would be an embarrassing question for the original BARTD engineers to ask why the Japanese and French high speed trains run over twice as fast as BART on standard gauge track with no apparent difficulty. The mention of running freight at night was probably not a design consideration, because third-rail operation, isolated right of way and low tunnel clearances would probably make freight operation impractical.
Recently, a fan more familiar with main-line RR operations than LA light rail asked if private cars could be hauled to Pasadena for the Tournament of Roses. I advised him that a 10-foot wide car could be switched onto the Gold Line near the maintenance facility, but as soon as it got to 26th St. Station, there would be an awful crash as the corner of the PV car hit the platform. This is also why a PE Blimp could not run on the Blue Line (although a Chicago North Shore interurban probably could.)



Date: 04/14/03 22:49
Re: BART gauge, etc.
Author: MargaretSPfan

.007 wrote:

> You young people do not remember when Bart was sold to the
> Bay Area. The big deal was that the system was to be entirely
> new engineering from start to finish. Nothing was allowed to be
> standard as that was "old Stuff" The tunnels under the Bay
> were touted as "Entirely new design"
>
> Needless to say, after it was sold, they used as many
> standard bits and parts as possible but the gauge was too big a
> deal to back down from.
>
> At least it prevented freight trains from being switched
> at night like a lot of streetcars and interurbans did.
>
> Swift

"Swift" is right - BART WAS sold to the public as a shiny NEW thing. I remember hearing many thimes that they never installed any sidings or turnouts because they claimed it would never break down!! Now, THAT will DEFINITELY attract Murphy's attention!!

I knew BART's gauge was 5 feet 6 inches; I had forgotten the reason.

BART's maximum operating speed, 80 mph, is also no faster than the SP 2472 and her sisters ran back in 1921, andis slow, compared to how fast SOME steam locomotives ran 60 years or more ago. But BART trains CAN easily handle grades that would defeat trains pulled by steam or diesel locomotives because BART has all that electrical energy available to the trains.

About preventing freight cars from running on streetcar tracks: that was also done by makng the gauge 4 feet 10 inches, or by having girder rail that makes a flangeway that is too shallow for standard AAR flanges.



Date: 04/14/03 23:18
Re: BART gauge, etc.
Author: wwdrkid

Something in print a year or so ago said that BART's early planning showed that the light-weight bodies - they are just aluminum extrusions - could be unstable at high speeds in strong side winds. The broad gauge, 5 feet 6 inches as Margaret affirmed, would be amply stable.

I ride this system often and while I haven't measured the IW the cars seem roomy with a wide aisle.



Date: 04/15/03 06:15
Re: BART gauge, etc.
Author: rresor

I'm glad we got the gauge straight. It is indeed 5'6".

As to why, I recall that the trains were originally supposed to run over the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County, and the wide gauge was allegedly chosen for stability in crosswinds.

BART engineering staff have been wishing they'd stuck with standard gauge ever since the system opened. Reason: everything from concrete ties to turnouts to track maintenance machinery has to be custom-built. I'd guess this probably doubles track maintenance costs.

The odd "trolley gauge" streetcar tracks in many cities were indeed mandated by city councils afraid that the "traction interests" would run freight trains down the streets. But that hasn't been an issue for, oh, a hundred years or so. Even where the track gauge is standard (as in the New York City system), the loading gauge is not. You couldn't fit an LIRR MU car into NYCT's tunnels, much less a freight car!



Date: 04/15/03 09:13
Re: BART gauge, etc.
Author: ge13031

rresor wrote:

> The odd "trolley gauge" streetcar tracks in many cities were
> indeed mandated by city councils afraid that the "traction
> interests" would run freight trains down the streets. But that
> hasn't been an issue for, oh, a hundred years or so. Even
> where the track gauge is standard (as in the New York City
> system), the loading gauge is not. You couldn't fit an LIRR MU
> car into NYCT's tunnels, much less a freight car!

The interurbans could not compete with car loads lots from class 1's. When they went into the freight business they built their own cars that fit everywhere they went, including city streets. The bad part was that as the connecting lines quit the whole network fell apart.



Date: 04/15/03 14:22
Re: Tulsa
Author: .007

It may still exist, but a while back, there was an interurban line between Tulsa and near by Sand Springs. It carried passengers all day long but they used the same passenger coach to switch freight at night to the spurs along the line. Most of the time they only had one or two freight cars at a time but I never saw a steam switcher on this line and as far as I knew, they had no electric locos. This was an old 600 VDC line and only 20 miles long at the most. Lot of people rode that line to work. Kerr had a big glass plant on that line.

Swift



[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.0639 seconds