Diesel trains unveiled for Antioch BART extension

Transit officials unveiled a new line of diesel-powered BART trains Thursday that will be deployed when the system arrives in the growing city of Antioch.

It was touted as a milestone in the plan for a 10-mile extension from the Pittsburg/Bay Point BART station to Antioch as it draws closer to its stated completion in winter 2017/2018.

BART officials said the new diesel-powered trains will allow the project to remain cost-effective. The $525 million extension is adding stations along state Highway 4 near Railroad Avenue in Pittsburg and Hillcrest Avenue in Antioch.

BART Director Joel Keller said about the arrival of the new trains, which will need to undergo a testing process:

“We’ve been working on the arrival of BART to this part of the Bay Area for years, so it’s both thrilling and a bit surreal to finally be here.”

Trains will run on separate tracks past the Pittsburg/Bay Point station. The new train cars on the route will be equipped with digital signs, automated audio announcements and modern climate control systems on top of being more environmentally friendly, BART officials said.

The trains will move an estimated 2,400 people per hour during morning and evening commutes, according to BART officials.

The anticipated number of daily riders on the extended line is expected to exceed 10,100 by 2030. Ridership will be around 5,600 initially, according to BART’s predictions.