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WMATA to receive $2.4 million for car delivery delay

Later this month, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will take delivery of the final pair of 192 Series 5000 rail cars from CAF Inc. of Spain — two years behind schedule.

The car builder has agreed to pay the authority $2.4 million in penalties because of the delay. WMATA placed the $340 million order with CAF in 1998; since then, the supplier encountered a few design problems. Some doors and brakes malfunctioned because of software issues, and when a small fire occurred in a car’s heater last year, workers determined some of the heaters weren’t wired properly, says WMATA spokesperson Steven Taubenkibel.

CAF’s cash penalty is unusual for the transit industry, he says, adding that car builders typically are more apt to give agencies additional rail cars or improve service agreements.

The two-year delay didn’t affect WMATA’s operations, but it did delay the authority’s plans to run six-car trains during rush hour, says Taubenkibel.

Angela Claypool

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/13/2004