Claypool's first big stumble: New rail cars pulled from service

In what shapes up as Forrest Claypool's first big test in his seven-month tenure at CTA's helm, the CTA on Friday announced it was removing all 40 of the new Series 5000 rail cars from their debut service on the Pink Line. Details from the press release:

In late November, CTA inspectors working at Bombardier’s Plattsburgh, NY, manufacturing facility noticed a flaw in the quality of a casting used to create wheel bearing housings.  The casting is molded steel that is later machined—or refined—to specific specifications.

The casting was replaced and no further issues were detected until earlier this week when CTA inspectors noted a second quality issue with a casting at the Plattsburgh facility.  CTA and Bombardier immediately began more inspections and discovered issues with other castings.

The parts are undergoing rigorous testing and while the testing is not complete, CTA decided as a precaution to take the 5000-Series cars out of service until more information is gathered.

Now remember, the first set of 10 cars were delivered in April of 2010. They underwent rigorous testing on every rail line. And the manufacturer is just now discovering this "flaw"?

Interestingly, Claypool says: “This decision demonstrates an abundance of caution on our part as we work with Bombardier to address these issues.” Perahps. And perhaps more complete testing should have been done in the first place.

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