BART, Transit Maps

New Feature: BART Track Map

Here’s one from the geek box: not a map of BART routes, but tracks. The image at left of the Oakland Wye, the center of the BART system, is clipped from the track map. This humble effort is not a transcription of any official BART documentation. Rather, it is simply a compilation of memories formed while daydreaming and staring out of train windows (as such, I may find the need to adjust a few things in the future). Lines are color-coded according to whether tracks are elevated, at-grade, or in a tunnel, but for the sake of clarity, some of the very shortest elevation changes have been omitted. The file (PNG format) is high resolution, so you may have to scroll around a bit to see the different branches of the system. The map has been added to the Transit Maps section of the sidebar, or you can click here to see it.



21 thoughts on “New Feature: BART Track Map

  1. this is really cool, i love maps. nice work.

    dont suppose you have a vector (.eps) version of this for printing out and hanging up in my small, overpriced apartment do you?

    Posted by Plug1 | 23 July 2008, 9:02 am
  2. Thanks, Plug1. I’ll send you an email.

    Posted by Eric | 23 July 2008, 9:06 am
  3. Super Cool!

    Posted by shanan | 23 July 2008, 9:08 am
  4. Really nicely done, Eric. Really nice.

    Posted by Steve Boland | 23 July 2008, 9:39 am
  5. cool map!
    i was kinda hoping there’d be some triple tracking on the fremont line, or something to that effect. It seems like the san jose extension would benefit greatly by that since BART trains could then run express to Oakland during peak times.

    Posted by brian goldner | 23 July 2008, 9:44 am
  6. wow, you got all that from observation? that’s impressive.

    unrelated, but what are your impressions of the possible sf congestion pricing program? (

    Posted by misa | 23 July 2008, 9:54 am
  7. What’s the story with the little spur to nowhere between North Concord and Pittsburg?

    Posted by jfruh | 23 July 2008, 10:10 am
  8. Wow. Very nice.

    Posted by Chris | 23 July 2008, 11:11 am
  9. ^^ north concord was the terminal station for the “yellow” line before bay point opened a year later. the spur you speak of served as tailtracks for the station.

    the spur (“C75”) now serves as BART’s T/O training facility. when there is a T/O class one can see a (usually) six-car consist there.

    Posted by David (#13) | 23 July 2008, 3:40 pm
  10. i should add:

    nice work, sir. i, as it so happens, have the aid of BART documents, but it is sheer *laziness* that has prevented me from ever producing a digital track map. now i don’t have to :-P

    the map is accurate, save for a few minor corrections to the daly city turnback area (between daly city and colma) and the location of a few assorted crossovers (you may wish to add the planned central contra costa crossover [] as well), depending on whether you are going for a purely schematic look or seeking a little more geographical accuracy.

    Posted by David (#13) | 23 July 2008, 4:05 pm
  11. Thanks, glad to see everyone’s enjoying the map.

    Brian: the sections laid out in the original system are pretty bare bones, e.g. not constructing the fourth track through downtown Oakland. Express service would be nice with the SJ extension, though even nicer would be no SJ extension at all!

    misa: I think congestion pricing is a great tool for removing cars off the road and in generating revenue for worthy transit projects. A discussion of congestion pricing here in the Bay Area has been on my to-do list; I’ve just been really low on time.

    jfruh: David #13 beat me to it on answering about the North Concord tracks.

    David: thanks for writing in. I just knew there were a few inaccuracies between Daly City and Colma. Something didn’t quite look right, but I was working off of a fuzzy memory. I’ve been meaning to ride trains through there a few times just to clear those up. I was considering not posting the map until doing that, but figured why not and just fix them later. I’ll drop you an email though — since you’ve got the papers, perhaps you can save me the trouble of even getting on the train. :)

    Posted by Eric | 23 July 2008, 4:15 pm
  12. What’s the purpose of the complicated trackwork between Castro Valley (and the future) West Dublin stations? The first pocket track after Castro Valley makes sense to me for turning back trains, but the second? And the third would only let them turn trains back eastward, and I can’t really picture a West Dublin/Pleasanton – Dublin/Pleasanton shuttle.

    Posted by Jamison | 23 July 2008, 7:28 pm
  13. This is a great map. I’ve long wondered what these kinds of maps would look like for systems I’ve been on. I’m sure New York’s would be especially complicated.

    On the subject of a SJ BART extension: do you have a link to a good discussion of arguments pro and con? Years ago I thought it was a good idea, but I’ve sort of come around to thinking the opposite now, but I don’t have much to base either view on. I do think there was potential to make good use of such a line developmentally back when they were planning and building BART originally, but of course after the late 50s that wasn’t a real possibility and especially not after San Mateo pulled out of the original plans.

    Posted by andrew | 23 July 2008, 11:54 pm
  14. indeed a nice map. for other versions and@ Andrew, see which has many including Peter Dugherty’s exhaustive NYC track map.

    Posted by david vartanoff | 25 July 2008, 11:35 am
  15. Sorry, all, for the delay in responses.

    Jamison: my guess is that it is used for temporary storage purposes and just for flexibility in keeping the two main service tracks clear, but it’s a good question. I do not know for sure to what extent those tracks have been used.

    Andrew: Yes, NY is a far more complicated system than BART. Just as a starter, the NY subway has four-tracked lines that permit express service, something BART cannot really provide due to its mostly double-tracked system. And the sheer number of rail connections in NY makes BART basically look like the meeting of two country roads, in comparison. But I agree, track maps may not be useful for the average rider, but they are fun in a geeky sort of way. :)

    On SJ BART, I can’t think of a good pro-con site off the top of my head, but this is a subject I’ve really been meaning to get to in the (hopefully) near future, with a couple posts. Perhaps as a follow-up to these couple of MTC freeway posts (still working on the second follow-up post I promised). The short version? It is hard to believe that this project won’t run over budget, and ridership projections are really just wildly high. So the question is: is BART, whose service maxes out at 80 mph, really the best way to spend 6+ billion of regional rail dollars, and is that really the best way to improve South Bay transit as a whole? Some, myself included, believe the answers to those questions to be no. But it’s definitely an important topic, because, if built, it will use a huge chunk of Bay Area transit expansion dollars. It’s long been on the to-do list, so I’ll try to get to it as soon as I can. Thanks for expressing the interest.

    David: Thanks very much for passing along the link, it should be fun to explore the NYC track map and the rest of that site.

    Posted by Eric | 26 July 2008, 2:18 am
  16. Please to upload a vector (EPS) version of your amazing map for our improvised BART BOARD GAME.
    (police action at macarthur: wait 2 turns, etc…)
    (Lose ticket, pay max fare)


    Posted by test | 4 September 2008, 10:23 am
  17. Haha, nice board game idea. I still plan to make a few edits to that map, so I’ll try to make a vector version available after doing that.

    Posted by Eric | 4 September 2008, 10:53 am
  18. I have some BART track maps of the yards, as well as signal names and placements. Would anybody be interested in seeing those uploaded?

    Posted by A.C. | 9 October 2009, 11:54 pm
  19. @A.C.

    Yes! Please!

    Posted by JWalker64 | 29 October 2009, 8:12 am
  20. I love this! Anyone know the technical name routes given by Bart for these lines and it’s interlocking numbers?

    Posted by Azipod | 2 July 2012, 8:47 pm
  21. I would like to communicate directly with both the author of this site, as well as other interested folks via e-mail (I’m “clarencefischer @”) … but I wonder if this blog (which I’m new to “blogging”) is still being used and monitored by the author. Please get in touch with me. Thanks.

    Posted by Clarence R. Fischer | 6 October 2022, 9:25 am

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