Several news outlets have reported already that the Bay Area Rapid Trasit District’s managers have started preparing for a prolonged strike. Key to their preparations is a plan to run trains along the mainline of the rail system if and when their train operators, station agents, mechanics, and other crucial employees walk out next month.
Last Wednesday BART trucked several train cars up to a private facility in Vallejo. “We sent 2 trains to the facility last Sunday so that non-represented employees can re-familiarize themselves with the trains,” said BART spokesperson Alicia Trost in response to an e-mail. Trost wrote that “There are no tracks or third rail power,” at the Vallejo facility, “and we are not breaking any contract rules.”
BART’s hush-hush Vallejo training facility is owned by Alstom Corporation, a French utilities and rail giant that operates everything from coal-fired and nuclear power plants to high-speed trains and urban trams across 21 countries. A search of the BART web site turned up no existing contract between the District and Alstom.