The Train Left Us!

Last night I was in the Embarcadero station, waiting for the 10-car Richmond train that comes at 7:06pm. I was waiting behind the black strip at the very front of the platform, just before the entry to the Tube. I prefer the first car, both because it is generally less crowded and it is more likely not to have smelly carpet.

The train pulls in right on time, but stops a few feet short of the black strips. The TO pokes his head out of the window and tells the three of us standing by the front tiles that the first door on the train isn't opening and that we should move down to the rear door of the first car. We oblige. The train repositions, but the doors still don't open. Then the train just leaves! Doors never open, no one gets on or off!

BART, I work from 7am until 7pm every day. When I get off at del Norte, I am faced with the injustice of seeing people take the elevator to the street right in front of the station agent's booth. I think I pay too much for crowded, smelly trains. Now you won't even let me on?!?!?

Needless to say, the commuter crowd was pretty pissed off. I am sure those people on the train who wanted to get off at Embarcadero, but would have had to go all the way to West Oakland and come back, weren't too happy either. Anyone have a guess as to what happened?

boopiejones's picture

when the train repositioned, did it run past the black tiles? the reason i ask is that i heard the TOs cannot back the trains up without permission and without walking all the way down to the other end of the train to control the train from the other end.

if the TO somehow overshot the tiles, i suspect his only options would be to either ask permission or skip the station. unfortunately, by the time they go through the whole reversing process, it is likely more efficient to just skip the station altogether.

Had that happen to me a few months back.. I'm glad BART runs every 20 mins, so no big loss.. You do kinda feel left behind though... I think my case was the computer not telling the train to stop..

He overshot the tiles but not by much. I guess that might make sense, except that he had already told us that the front doors of the first car weren't going to open. So even if he opened the doors, the only doors that opened would be ones opening onto the platform, so I don't see the harm. The overshoot would have been maybe 3 or 4 feet, so no other doors would have been affected.

boopiejones's picture

i'll bet overshooting the tiles is the reason. i would guess that the doohickey that opens the doors isn't intelligent enough to know that the first door isn't working and that it is therefore safe to open the doors. the TO would probably need to do some sort of manual emergency override to open the doors in the scenario you mentioned, which wouldn't be desirable. and given bart's streak of luck lately, if they did an emergency override it would probably open the doors on the other side of the train and about 20 people would step out onto the third rail and burris. um, i mean step on the third rail and perish.

I've also been told that Embarcadero's platform is the shortest out of all the BART stations, at 690 feet rather than 700 feet. So a 10 car train will stick its front and back slightly into the tunnel, necessitating a near perfect alignment.

I bet the next train to Richmond or Pitt/Bay Pt was packed!

icrew's picture

I've also heard that Embarcadero was a bit of a last-minute addition to the system--that the original plan was to have Montgomery be the first SF stop. Anyone know if that's accurate?

It was. I think it had something to do with the Financial District.....I can't remember

Back when the Embarcadero freeway was still there there was hardly any reason for a stop that close to the waterfront.