PETALUMA, Calif. — Plans to launch the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) in the fourth quarter of 2016 derailed due to flawed engine design and signaling glitches, The North Bay Business Journal reports.
The engines, shipped back to the factory for a fix, were prone to catastrophic failure due to a flawed crankshaft, while communication among cars and more than five dozen grade crossings did not work properly even at train speeds under 30 miles an hour. Top speeds will eventually hit 79 miles an hour in sections north of Santa Rosa or between Petaluma and Novato.
April 2017 is now the earliest projected launch date for the rail system, with SMART planning a startup period with no fares or reduced fares to entice the public into trying the train. For the full story, click here.