New Technology Monitors Commuter Rail Line

By Kevin Wilcox

The automated system that will guide commuter trains from the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system over the Berryessa Extension into Silicon Valley will be able to identify when anything from a child's fading helium balloon to a dislodged culvert pipe from a passing freight train enters the rail system's right-of-way, discern the level of threat posed by the object, and stop the train when needed.

The Berryessa Extension, which is nearing completion, is a $2.3-billion, 10.2 mi project being delivered by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) and will connect California's Santa Clara County with a regional rail system that serves the East Bay and San Francisco, providing commuters an alternative to clogged highways.

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