Train Control Modernization
The BART Train Control Modernization Project (Communication-Base Train Control, CBTC) is part of a broader Transbay Corridor Core Capacity Program (TCCCP), which, in addition to CBTC, includes 252 additional railcars, a new railcar storage yard and five new traction power substations. On December 3, 2015, the BART Board authorized the General Manager to issue solicitation documents for a CBTC system using the Design-Build method of procurement. The state-of-the-art CBTC system will increase transit capacity and improve reliability by replacing aging equipment.
Why Invest in CBTC?
CBTC is a proven railway signaling system that makes use of the telecommunications between the train and trackside equipment for the traffic management and infrastructure control. By means of the CBTC systems, the exact position of a train is known more accurately than with the traditional fixed block signaling systems. CBTC allows for real-time adjustments of speed and braking to allow for safe train separation while allowing trains to get closer to each other. This equates to increased capacity and thus reduced wait times between trains. A modernized train control system will enable BART to increase projected Transbay capacity to 30-trains per hour per direction in the core system area, from the current limitation of 24-trains per hour per direction.
Federal dollars to expand the System’s Transbay capacity was approved on September 16, 2020. BART executed the contract to Hitachi Rail STS USA, Inc. on September 30, 2020 and issued a Notice to Proceed on November 2, 2020, which will take about eleven years to complete. The new CBTC technology will first be proven on a test track and then will roll out for BART mainline deployment in eight geographical phases, with the ability to run 28 trains per hour in each direction through the Transbay Tube in 2030 and up to 30 trains in 2032. BART and Hitachi have been working together on the Conceptual Design Phase work products, which will set the foundation for Preliminary Design which will begin in the Spring of 2021. The team is also preparing for early surveys of field conditions and developing plans for equipping the test tracks with CBTC components.
This CBTC system implementation phase will bring continuous change to BART and the riding public. To support the successful implementation of the Hitachi CBTC Design-Build Contract, BART selected two engineering consultant teams, Parsons and Systra/Hatch, to provide Design Support During Construction (DSDC) services including technical design, engineering, project management and implementation oversight support. In addition, BART selected two construction management firms, Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. and CPM Associates, Inc., to provide General Construction Oversight services.