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Rail News: Mechanical

CTA removes new rail cars from Pink Line service after inspectors find flaws


The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has taken out of service 40 new 5000-series rail cars after CTA inspectors identified “a small number of manufacturing-quality issues” on car parts, agency officials said in a prepared statement.

The new cars, which were operating along the Pink Line, were removed from service on Dec. 15 as a “precaution” so that CTA and the cars’ manufacturer, Bombardier Transportation, can study the issue, they said.

CTA inspectors working at Bombardier’s Plattsburgh, N.Y., plant noticed a flaw in a casting used to create wheel-bearing housings. The casting is molded steel that is later refined to specifications, CTA officials said.

The castings were replaced and no additional issues were detected until last week, when inspectors noted a second quality issue with a casting at the plant. CTA and Bombardier then “immediately began more inspections and discovered issues with other castings,” agency officials said.

The parts are undergoing rigorous testing; as a precaution, CTA officials decided to take the cars out of service until the quality issue can be resolved.

“This decision demonstrates an abundance of caution on our part as we work with Bombardier to address these issues,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool.

In addition, CTA and Bombardier plan to inspect all the 52 cars already delivered to determine if additional testing is necessary.

CTA ordered the new-generation cars in 2006, and tested the cars in 2010 and 2011. The cars were put into full-time revenue service on the Pink Line in November.


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