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It May Get Noisy For Neighbors As BART Tests New Tracks In Berryessa

BERRYESSA (KPIX) -- The quiet neighborhoods that border the BART tracks in Berryessa are about to get a lot more noisy at almost all hours of the day and night.

That's because BART is testing a ten-mile stretch, moving north from San Jose so trains will be running near non-stop starting Monday night.

Neighbor David Tran doesn't mind, though.

"I haven't heard any noise yet. Hopefully it's not that bad," says Tran, who lives near the tracks. "But I'm okay with it."

Tran says the good of having BART service near his Berryessa home outweighs any inconveniences, so far.

But for the first time since the tracks were laid, neighbors will get a real taste of what living next to busy BART tracks will be like.

VTA officials say train testing began last Fall. Monday night begins a new phase that will run trains nearly around-the-clock.

According to VTA spokesperson Brandi Childress, the trains will run throughout the day, starting at 7 a.m., and going to 3 a.m. the next morning.

"This is really to test trains and how they are communicating with the tracks and all the other communication systems that we have on the ten-mile extension," says Childress.

BART's construction budget covered the costs to retrofit 250 nearby homes with triple-pane windows to cut down on noise.

The tracks themselves were engineered to dampen ground vibrations whenever the trains pass.

VTA says the new Berryessa station is almost passenger ready but train testing will drag on until the end of the year.

"It's going to look like it's completely done and people will wonder why isn't this open," says Childress. " It's because we've got to go through this testing phase now with BART for the next six to eight months to make sure this is going to ready for passenger service."

As for when passenger service begin on the new extension, VTA officials say the trains will be around December, but BART has the final say.

BART takes over the testing in June, and will be on their own timeline. Once BART is ready, the station will open.

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