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Rail News: Mechanical

UTA to auction off Comet rail cars

The cars, manufactured in 1970, have had frequent mechanical and reliability issues that caused them to go out of service in April.
Photo – Utah Transit Authority


The Utah Transit Authority is holding an auction of 25 FrontRunner Comet rail cars through Nov. 1.

UTA removed the 50-year-old rail cars from service in April. The cars have had frequent mechanical and reliability issues. Many of their parts were discontinued by manufacturers in 2009, UTA officials said in a press release. 

While the cars were initially put into reserve capacity for community events or large ridership spikes, keeping the cars has become "too great of a logistical and financial burden," UTA officials said. The authority is auctioning them off so it can apply for federal grants to purchase new rail cars.

"As part of the planning efforts for future FrontRunner service, UTA is evaluating options for replacement vehicles, but a decision has not been made at this time. We expect the platforms to be raised and replacement vehicles secured by the time they are needed," officials said on the UTA website.

The auction began Oct. 17. Each car will be sold to the highest bidder. Bidders are required to put down a deposit when bidding and need to remove any purchases from the auction site within 90 days.