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See the new BART cars this weekend

Prepare for new car smell on a level you’ve never imagined

BART says that the first of their new train cars will roll down the tracks and into a station near you by the end of the year—although only a tiny number of new cars will be in circulation come December, with the really big rollout delayed a bit until 2017.

But if you absolutely can’t wait until then, the transit agency will host four open houses with their new acquisitions in October, the first scheduled for Saturday. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, BART will park one of the showpiece cars at Pleasant Hill Station and throw open the doors to the curious public.

One will pop up at MacArthur Station on Sunday too, and then Dublin/Pleasanton on October 29 (a Saturday again), and El Cerrito del Norte on October 30. Note that it’ll be free to get into the station for the purposes of taking a gander, although of course you may have to take BART to get to the relevant stations in the first place.

This unit is one of the test cars that BART has been working with for the past few months. The full batch of 775 new cars (with more planned later), an investment of $2.5 billion dollars, are supposed to beef up the cross-county agency’s entire rail network. The present stock of 669 train cars isn’t enough to keep up with demand as the Bay Area’s population soars, and besides, the circa 1972 vehicles increasingly look like—well, like something from 1972.