CONCORD -- BART officials hope to have train service east of the Pleasant Hill station on the Pittsburg/Bay Point line restored by 8 a.m. Sunday, as repairs to the tracks and electrified "third rail" were well underway Saturday night after Friday night's derailment near the Concord station.

Repair work will continue through the night.

Work to fix the damaged tracks and third rail started about noon Saturday, with the late-morning removal of the four derailed train cars. The damaged cars were lifted by crane from the elevated tracks onto flatbed trucks and taken to the BART maintenance facilities in Concord nearby for repairs. BART spokesman Jim Allison said Saturday afternoon that sections of track, the third rail and wiring sustained "significant damage" in the derailment.

BART officials get ready to lift the BART trains with a large crane that derailed last night and are blocking the tracks cutting off traffic from Pleasant
BART officials get ready to lift the BART trains with a large crane that derailed last night and are blocking the tracks cutting off traffic from Pleasant Hill to Bay Point at the Concord BART station in Concord, Calif., on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014.(Dan Rosenstrauch/Bay Area News Group) (DAN ROSENSTRAUCH)

At 6:20 p.m. Friday, an empty, out-of-service BART train departing the Concord station derailed, leaving the four derailed cars strewn across both the eastbound and westbound tracks, with the train's lead car poking over the edge of the elevated rails.

Only the train operator was aboard and no injuries were reported.

On the Pittsburg-Bay Point line, trains are running as far east as the Pleasant Hill-Contra Costa Centre station. Buses were operating between Pleasant Hill and the Concord and North Concord-Martinez stations, and a shuttle train was taking passengers between North Concord and Pittsburg-Bay Point.

Riders traveling to San Francisco or Oakland on Saturday are being advised to catch their trains at the Pleasant Hill station.


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The cause of the derailment remained under investigation Saturday, but a BART spokesman said the derailment occurred as the train traveled over an "interlocking," a set of switches that can transfer trains from one track to another.

Rider Adam Goermar was in his car at the Concord station when the wreck occurred. He said it seemed the train was going too fast as it went through the station. He said he saw it bounce two or three times, sending off sparks off and then heard a pop, saw a flash followed by smoke and more sparks. Then, suddenly, the train veered across the tracks and headed over the edge.

BART officials get ready to lift the BART trains that derailed last night and are blocking the tracks, cutting off traffic from Pleasant Hill to Bay Point
BART officials get ready to lift the BART trains that derailed last night and are blocking the tracks, cutting off traffic from Pleasant Hill to Bay Point at the Concord BART station in Concord, Calif., on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014.(Dan Rosenstrauch/Bay Area News Group) (DAN ROSENSTRAUCH)

"It was like something out of a movie," Goermar said. "I caught my breath."

This is not the first time a train has derailed near the Concord station. Another incident occurred March 13, 2011, when two cars of a 10-car train with 65 passengers aboard headed to San Francisco International Airport left the tracks in a slow-speed derailment. Investigators later determined that the accident was likely caused by uneven wear on a track section and flawed maintenance on a train wheel that slipped off the rails. There were a few minor injuries in that incident, and service was restored in less than 24 hours.

Contact Kristin J. Bender at kbender@bayareanewsgroup.com. Contact Katie Nelson at knelson@bayareanewsgroup.com.