BART: Concern Over Ship’s Anchor Near Transbay Tube Halts BART Trains

January 31, 2014 · 22 comments

BART service between San Francisco and the East Bay stopped for about 20 minutes today out of precaution that a ship’s anchor may be getting too close to the Transbay Tube, agency officials said.

A ship lost propulsion in the Bay and dropped anchor at about 8:35 a.m. to avoid drifting, BART spokesman Jim Allison said.

At 11:58 a.m., a U.S. Coast Guard duty officer notified BART’s operations control center out of concern that the anchor was close to the Transbay Tube, so BART service was stopped as a precaution, Allison said.

Crews inspected the tube and determined it was not damaged. Train service then resumed before 1pm, BART spokeswoman Luna Salaver said.

Residual delays of up to 30 minutes were expected while trains got back on schedule, Salaver said.

She said crews will go back and inspect the Transbay Tube after BART service ends tonight as a further precaution.

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1 Gargoyle Socks January 31, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Does anybody know how they know these things? Did somebody go down the tube and look out the window?

I’m mildly amused, but really genuinely curious. Ship’s anchors hitting the Transbay Tube has never crossed my mind before. Another reason to stay in the East Bay.

2 Mr. Pink January 31, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Wow. An anchor possibly crashing through the tube? Yeah, that would suck.

3 That area should be a No Parking zone, with red water January 31, 2014 at 1:32 PM

.

4 Dorothy January 31, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Don’t they know how think the tube is on top? Or how many feet of sediment is on top of it? Are they going to raise fares to reinforce the top of the tube?

5 The one January 31, 2014 at 1:51 PM

@Gargoyle Socks
This particular ship lost power approaching the dock on Oakland and they decided to drop their (very large) anchor to help stop the ship even though there were two tug boats on the ship. The vessel traffic service(Coast Guard) knows(sees/hears) all that goes on with commercial ship movement, They obvously know where the tube is located and when the ship dropped its anchor in an area near the tube they took precautionary measures and alerted BART,

6 KAD January 31, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Well, that makes you feel warm and fuzzy.

Free Connie Dobbs.

7 Clayton Pete January 31, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Well, there’s a horrible image in my mind.
Commuting home- dark tunnel- anchor CRASH- tube floods- mass panic- sayonara.

8 Gargoyle Socks January 31, 2014 at 2:11 PM

@The one
Thanks. That all makes perfect sense. I guess I just have a ‘see it to believe it’ attitude. Knowing the ship dropped anchor nearby and then inspecting the tube from the inside just isn’t enough for me. I’m sure it’s the best they can do and their processes are reliable. But I would feel much better if they could SEE what happened. I suppose that’s why we leave it to experts to build and maintain those things.

9 J. January 31, 2014 at 2:20 PM
10 no handle January 31, 2014 at 2:27 PM

You would think that things like ships anchors and earthquakes were factored into the tube in the design process to begin with.
Remind me what I am paying you people for ?

11 LOL @ Dorothy January 31, 2014 at 2:28 PM

I love a good smartass comment every now and again. They would use this as an excuse to increase fare.

12 Concord Guy January 31, 2014 at 2:33 PM

No, Dorothy, they will not raise fares to reinforce the top of the tube. They will raise fares to further enrich BART union employees.

13 Anchor's Away January 31, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Ok, look for the union to say how dangerous their job is, ‘We have people dropping anchor on our tracks!” Hazard pay increases by 12% soon, fare increases to follow.

14 Sacto Rob January 31, 2014 at 4:10 PM

DOH!

15 Bart_Rider January 31, 2014 at 4:58 PM

You laugh about the price of BART now, but consider the following changes that are coming to BART and are either already under construction or in the planning stages.

Bart Livermore Extension
2014: Oakland Airport Connector (Oakland International Airport)
2015: Warm Springs/South Fremont
2016: Warm Springs–Berryessa (Milpitas, Berryessa)
2017: eBART (Antioch)

Not to mention that the BART board has a plan on the table to build a 2nd 4-bore transbay tube south of the existing one that would connect BART to high speed rail at the new Transbay terminal under construction, as well as provide cross-bay access for new urban metro and commuter rail lines. Imagine what BART will cost soon enough if they move forward with this project.

And don’t forget everyone wants BART to loop around the bay.

16 concord January 31, 2014 at 6:59 PM

I love how eBART is last on the list and those people having paying the longest and they don’t even get real BART.

Do I feel safe on BART these days????? Nope.

17 Interesting....or....Scary February 1, 2014 at 2:02 AM
18 Kirkwood February 1, 2014 at 11:04 AM

If I remember correctly, the tube is buried in a trench in the bay floor and covered with rock that rises several yards above the floor. The design anticipates ship anchors dragging across the area.

19 mass panic February 1, 2014 at 10:26 PM

What would happen if the tube caved in with bay water? Wouldn’t that flood the entire San Francisco underground line and kill tons of people? It would be like that scene in Jumanjii, except with sharks.

20 The Closer February 2, 2014 at 9:35 AM

@#

21 The Closer February 2, 2014 at 9:36 AM

It would certainly ruin your day.

22 The Closer February 2, 2014 at 9:37 AM

@#19

It would certainly ruin your day.

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