We were led to believe by some optimists at BART that the long-awaited Warm Springs extension, which takes BART's Fremont line 5.4 miles further south toward San Jose, was going to be open a full year ago. Fast forward to this past October when we were again led to believe we would see the thing open by the end of the year, despite delays in testing that had held it up all this time. The Warm Springs/South Fremont Station is built, the tracks are there, but now the Chronicle is telling us that the thing won't be open until the new year, but who even knows at this point.
As they recount, the project, which began construction seven years ago, in 2009, was originally slated for a 2014 opening, but then things got pushed back to 2015, and you know the rest.
At issue now? Ancient computers trying to talk to new ones.
Per the Chron:
The holdup is connecting the up-to-date train-control gadgetry on the new extension to BART’s 44-year-old automatic train-control system — described during the recent bond campaign as being from the “Pong era.” Engineers call it systems integration. Spokesman Jim Allison said it’s a matter of getting an analog system to reliably work with modern digital technology.
“It’s a 1970s computer trying to communicate with a 21st century computer,” Allison said. “Once we get one particular problem solved another one pops up.”
So once again we're reminded that all of BART is basically crumbling, and they've actually spent the last eight weeks trying to get a "Pong-era" machine to talk to whatever BART considers a 21st century machine.
What they've been doing for the last year since construction was ostensibly complete remains a mystery.
Meanwhile, another extension to East San Jose is scheduled to open by 2018, and there are designs for a further six-mile extension to downtown San Jose, but the funding has not been found for the project yet.