Morning commute mangled by BART delays 

Thousands of BART commuters were late to work this morning, especially if they were traveling into The City, because a train was stalled in the Transbay Tube for about an hour.

Around 6:30 a.m. a lock in between two cars on a nine-car Pittsburg train headed to San Francisco International Airport disconnected just shy of the Embarcadero Station and stopped the train, said BART spokesman Linton Johnson.

Traffic through the tunnel was stalled for about an hour while operators removed the train that was then split into a five-car and a four-car train.

A commuter who lives in Richmond and takes BART to the Embarcadero every weekday had the same thing several others had to say while hurrying off the train.

“It was horrible,’’ Brian Epps, 37, said. “I’m an hour late. It was just stop and go the whole time and I had no idea what was going on … They didn’t tell us anything.’’

However, BART Supervisor Helen Lopez, who was stationed at the Embarcadero, said they were making extra announcements over the intercoms about which trains were going where to help soften the hour-long blow.

“It’s just an added, ‘I’m sorry,’ to help ease the stress,’’ Lopez said.

But a passenger who was heading from the 24th Street station to Embarcadero said even with the extra announcements, the snarl was still confusing and it also made him an hour late.

“The first train I was supposed to take came into the station backwards and everything’s so muffled down there you can’t hear anything,’’ Jeff Bingham, 59, said. “I was lucky I just decided to get on the second one that came in backwards.’’

By 7:25 a.m. both portions of the disconnected train were taken out of the tube and trains were starting to get back on track. However, there were residual delays until at least 8:45 a.m., according to BART.

The trains were taken to the Daly City BART yard for inspection. They were supposed to stop when the lock disconnected as a safety precaution, but the cause has not been determined, said Johnson.

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Kamala Kelkar

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