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BART Rail Safety a Concern as High Heat Approaches

Scorching weather is expected around the Bay Area this week with many parts of the region reaching triple-digit temperatures. As temperatures rise, safety concerns grow.

Locally, one of the major concerns becomes BART’s rails. In June, heat warped a rail and triggered a partial derailment between Concord and Pleasant Hill.

So far, BART trains are running smoothly but passengers are worried about safety.

Passenger Christien Gay said he’s already on high alert of safety or crime and said “I’m watching out for stuff like that, I don’t need another thing to be affecting my mind.”

BART told NBC Bay Area they implemented a policy to cut their train speeds in half when temperatures are forecast to rise above 100 degrees.

When asked if they were cutting speeds today, the answer was no.

“What would make me safer is if they reengineered the tracks to be able to withstand these higher temperatures,” said passenger Jonathan Weaver.

The heat is also concerning fire departments.

Steve Hill of the Contra Costa Fire Department explained the combination of heat, low humidity and dry vegetation has crews on high alert.

“When all those combine you have a dangerous situation,” he said. “So the heat doesn’t help, but we already have very dangerous conditions on the ground and we encourage all of our residents to use extreme caution.”

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