PITTSBURG, CA—Bombardier plans to open an assembly plant here to build Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) railcars, and hire about 50 assemblers. Assembly work on BART’s 775 modern rail cars, which is currently done in upstate New York, is expected to move here within months, Bombardier Americas President Lee Sanders announced at a news conference in the warehouse last Friday.
Bombardier has produced 89 of the new rail cars at its assembly plant in Plattsburgh, NY, and delivered them to BART’s Hayward yard by truck. Beginning in September those rail cars—with three doors, video screens, automated announcements and brightly colored interiors—will be assembled in Pittsburg and delivered to a BART yard.
Eighty of the new cars, enough to make up eight full-length trains, are in service, and they’ve been popular among commuters who appreciate the cleaniness, the functioning air conditioning and heating sytems and the new-car look and feel. But the cars have also been behind schedule in arriving to the Bay Area and being placed on the tracks.
BART’s initial plan was to replace and slightly expand its existing fleet of 669 rail cars, many of them more than 40 years old, by 2022 but that date has been pushed back to spring of 2023. By now, BART was supposed to have 176 cars on hand.