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By Daniel Niepow, Associate EditorThe Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) this week is putting leased train sets into operation after pulling all 120 Silverliner V Regional Rail cars out of service due to a structural defect.
The Philadelphia-area transit agency is leasing equipment from New Jersey Transit, Amtrak and the Maryland Transit Administration. In total, SEPTA is adding three locomotives and 18 passenger cars.Amtrak has loaned the agency two locomotives and five coaches at a cost of $16,375 per week, while NJ Transit is loaning one locomotive and eight coaches at a cost of $15,570 per week. In addition, SEPTA is borrowing five Maryland Area Regional Commuter trains for $19,462 a week, agency officials said in an email.In total, SEPTA estimates spending more than $250,000 each month to lease the units, agency officials told The Philadelphia Inquirer.SEPTA put two of the three train sets into operation yesterday, while the third was added today, the newspaper reported.On July 3, SEPTA removed all 120 Silverliner V cars from service after personnel identified a problem with cracking in the units' main suspension systems. The agency has completed the inspection of the fleet and is in the process of analyzing engineering solutions to repair the defects and return the cars to service, SEPTA officials said in a notice to passengers.The Silverliner cars represent about one-third of the agency's regional rail fleet and provide 13,000 seats for customers. "Since these cars make multiple trips during the morning and evening peak periods the impact to our customers is substantial," SEPTA officials said.The agency is running a modified weekday schedule while the cars are being fixed. Service likely will remain impacted at least through August.