Expect delays from Sunday single tracking through downtown SF; next date impacted is 1/19


Expect delays from Sunday single tracking through downtown SF; next date impacted is 1/19

To upgrade the electrical traction power system in Downtown San Francisco we need to single track trains in San Francisco on some Sundays throughout the year.  This means trains will need to take turns to run on only one track between Embarcadero and 24th Street Mission.   This electrical work is critical for ensuring our trains have a reliable power supply.

The next scheduled single tracking for this project will be Sunday, January 19. 

Expect 15-20 minute delays from 8 am to 6:30 pm and 20-30 minute delays when crews are moving equipment between 6:30 pm and 8 pm. We will single track between the Embarcadero and 24th Street Mission stations.  During this single tracking we will only have one platform open at Montgomery, Powell, Civic and 16th Street stations.

Single tracking also impacts our ability to make the Richmond/Antioch timed transfers meets (northbound). It would require holding the Richmond train in excess of 10-12 minutes, and create a corresponding dispatch delay from Richmond to Warm Springs. 

San Francisco line Cable Replacement photo

Crews work to replacing cables and pipes in Downtown San Francisco.

BART will continue to single track between the Embarcadero and 24th Street Mission stations on approximately 28 Sundays per year through 2021. Once that phase of the cable replacement is complete, the second phase will bring the same work to the San Francisco line between the 24th Street Mission and Balboa Park stations.  The second phase is scheduled to begin in 2022 and it's not clear if it will require single tracking.

We will maintain 20-minute headways, but impacts include:

  • For the most part, only one line (the Antioch/Yellow Line) will provide service through the Transbay Tube (some direct Red and Green line trains will be part of the schedule at select times).
  • Sunday service changes vary week to week and riders are encouraged to check the Trip Planner or the official BART app before each trip to see the service plan.
  • Dublin/Pleasanton/Blue Line service will operate between Dublin/Pleasanton and MacArthur.
  • All Lake Merritt-Dublin/Warm Springs Transbay riders must transfer at 12th St. Station—go downstairs one level. 
  • All Millbrae riders must transfer to/from a San Francisco/Antioch train at SFO. 

The above service schedule will change in Feb. 2020 when we plan to bring the Dublin (Blue) line back into San Francisco on Sundays once again providing two line service into San Francisco on Sundays.  Headways will be 24 minutes. 

Check Before You Go

The new schedule has been loaded into the Trip Planner on bart.gov as well as the official BART app. Select a date Feb. 11th and beyond to see how these changes impact your trip.  

Keep in mind that through October extensive weekend track work will be occurring between the Orinda, Lafayette, and Walnut Creek stations.  On some weekends free buses will replace trains between those stations.  Get more details here.

Sunday riders are encouraged to check the Trip Planner or the app before each trip as it varies week by week based on single tracking weekends.

Power Cable Upgrades 

The Sunday service change is to accommodate the replacement of 34.5kV power cables and pipes that power our trains. It’s original hardware dating back to when the system was built. The nitrogen-filled pipes are being replaced with modern shielded cabling using Measure RR funds. 

The power to run our trains comes from a variety of original sources like solar and natural gas. After we get it from PG&E (but before it gets sent into the electrified third rail), it must be distributed through substations and special cabling at 34.5 kilovolts (kV).  

San Francisco line Cable Replacement close-up photo

San Francisco line Cable Replacement wide shot

(Photo credit: Eric Londgren)

At BART, much of the cabling technology and substations channeling all this energy is outdated and in a state of age-related disrepair.  The 34.5 kV cables themselves don’t even really resemble what the average person would imagine a cable to be: they’re quite large and encased within nitrogen-filled pipes about the circumference of a grapefruit. The 34.5 kV cables run through these pipes. 

BART needs to replace these pipes, cables (34.5kv), and substations with modern shielded cabling and new distribution hardware so the power can be properly stepped down and fed into the 1000-volt, electrified third rail.  The third rail is what brings power to the train cars, via conductive metal collector shoes skimming along the third rail’s surface.  

Sunday map