Heat causes BART derailment near Concord; trains single-tracking during morning commute

PLEASANT HILL — Scorching heat on Tuesday curved a rail and caused a BART train to run off the tracks in Concord. The agency says it will be single-tracking Wednesday morning.

BART service stopped between Pleasant Hill and Concord in both directions while emergency crews responded.

At about 9 p.m., BART said at least 70 workers were still clearing the track and making repairs. Passengers would continue to us a bus bridge between Concord and Pleasant Hill overnight. The agency said, at minimum, it would single-track through the area during the Wednesday morning commute.

The SFBARTAlert Twitter account first posted about the incident shortly after 5:30 p.m., saying there was “a major delay on the Antioch Line in the Antioch and SFO directions due to an equipment problem on a train.”

BART partial derailment
BART partial derailment.


The BART Twitter account later confirmed that there was a “partial derailment.” Transit officials initially said there were no injuries and that all 50 passengers were safely evacuated from the westbound SFO train.

However, Contra Costa County Fire was dispatched to the scene and they said there are passengers who reported some injuries. There were also reports of spot fires near the scene of the derailment. KPIX was told the last two cars of the 10-car train partially derailed.

ConFire tweeted around 6:30 p.m. all passengers had been safely removed. 

“ConFire EMS units working to evaluate passengers for injuries,” the tweet said.

Video from Chopper 5 showed firefighters and paramedics at the scene. At least one person was seen being taken away on a stretcher.

BART partial train derailment
BART partial train derailment


Paulette Lagana is a BART rider from Pittsburg. She said she felt the train lurch underneath her.

“All of a sudden it went–and it wasnt an earthquake like feeling it was like debris or something.”

Sherritta Cornist is a regular rider who was also riding the train as it derailed.

“I felt the train come up off the track…and he tried to keep it going to maybe get it back but it kept trying to come off and I was scared…I’m still scared.”

BART spokesperson Alicia Trost said the issue affected a portion of the train.

“We know the last two cars of one of our legacy trains–thats one of our older trains–are what derailed. so the entire train didnt derail,” said Trost.

Fifty people were on the train cars that derailed riding toward San Francisco–against the grain of the busy commute–when the train cars went off the tracks between Concord and Pleasant Hill stations.

Steve Hill with Con Fire responded to the scene.

“Fortunately it was a very minor derailment we dont appear to have any serious injuries whatsoever and we’ve been able to assist those passengers in evacuating the train,” said Hill.

Trost said inspectors were already examining the tracks and that the train operator had been interviewed.

“It’s too soon to say if its something thats related to the track or related to the heat or potentially maybe ran over something but were doing those assessments right now to get a good idea of what happened.”

All evening, Contra Costa County buses numbers 11 and 14 shuttled passengers between Pleasant Hill and Concord stations, accepting BART tickets as fare, a spokesperson for BART said. KPIX 5 Assignment Desk Manager Brian Dinsmore arrived at Pleasant Hill station on a later train and shared video showing passengers crowding onto shuttles to get to Concord. 

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