Four new diesel Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit train cars were damaged in transit before coming to the Bay Area, SMART Board of Directors Chair Debora Fudge confirmed Tuesday morning.
The cars were shipped by the manufacturer Nippon Sharyo from Japan to Savannah, Georgia, and were damaged in a rail yard in the Midwest, Fudge said. The cars have arrived by train at the SMART operations yard north of Santa Rosa.
"We have the cars but we have not technically accepted them. The next steps are being talked about now," Fudge said.
How the two sets of two rail cars were damaged is still under investigation, but the damage is "beyond cosmetic," she said.
SMART officials intended to use the four trains starting in December to reduce a 90-minute gap in service on weeknights between Santa Rosa and San Rafael.
"We think one set of cars will be repaired by spring and the other in the summer," Fudge said. "We'd still have to test them to make sure their electronic systems were not damaged."
During the delay, SMART is working on a new schedule that adds the Larkspur stop near the ferry terminal slated for 2019 and Windsor in 2020 or 2021, Fudge said.
"We'll be incorporating these new cars," she said.
Fourteen cars are in service between San Rafael and Santa Rosa in the SMART service that started in August 2017.
Voters in both Sonoma and Marin counties approved a quarter-cent sales tax in November 2008 to fund the rail service and bike and pedestrian paths in areas between Cloverdale and Larkspur.