Philly re­gional rail re­turns to sched­ule af­ter 3 months

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS -

PHILADEL­PHIA >> The Philadel­phia area’s main tran­sit agency restarted a nor­mal sched­ule on its com­muter rail lines on Mon­day, three months af­ter a third of its rail cars were side­lined due to sus­pen­sion sys­tem de­fects.

The South­east­ern Penn­syl­va­nia Trans­porta­tion Au­thor­ity has said more than 50 of the 120 cars sent to the re­pair shop will be avail­able this week.

The sched­ule change means about 200 more trips per day across its 13 Re­gional Rail lines com­pared with what riders were see­ing dur­ing the re­duced sched­ule, said SEPTA spokesman An­drew Busch.

SEPTA of­fi­cials will con­tinue to eval­u­ate rush hour ser­vice.

“Riders may still see some crowd­ing due to some trains be­ing short a car or two, but it will def­i­nitely be an im­prove­ment over be­fore and some is­sues will smooth out even this week,” Busch said.

SEPTA had to re­pair its en­tire Sil­ver­liner V fleet due to cracks found in beams that dis­trib­ute the weight of ve­hi­cles to their axles. The tran­sit agency and the trains’ man­u­fac­turer, South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem, have at­trib­uted the flaws to a com­bi­na­tion of de­sign and man­u­fac­tur­ing mis­steps.

To re­turn to a reg­u­lar sched­ule on Mon­day, SEPTA will con­tinue us­ing cars it has leased from other agen­cies, in­clud­ing Amtrak and New Jersey Tran­sit.

SEPTA re­ceives about two newly re­paired cars each day, but they are not im­me­di­ately re­turned to ser­vice. Even so, the tran­sit agency ex­pects the full Sil­ver­liner V fleet to be run­ning by mid-Novem­ber, Busch said.

Busch said there still may some kinks to be worked out as the sched­ule re­turns to nor­mal, “but hope­fully peo­ple will be more happy as the week goes on.”

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