Defective Chinese-made parts blamed for putting new Series 5000 rail cars out of service

Defective wheel parts made in China for the new Series 5000 rail cars could have led to derailments, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

To their credit, it was CTA inspectors who first noticed the defective wheel housing parts. But it was after an 18-month testing period, and after the new rail cars were put into revenue service in November on the Pink Line.

What took so long? Thankfully, there were no derailments or accidents.

The CTA yanked them out of service in mid-December. Bombardier, the Canadian-based manufacturer, is now replacing the wheel housing on all 54 cars that were delivered last year with parts made in both Germany and China.

Tribune reporter Jon Hilkevitch deserves credit for tirelessly reporting this story.


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  • When the 5000s were removed from service, I wrote here that it was probably Chinese made garbage.
    The only question now is why are they going to replace Chinese made garbage with more Chinese made garbage, just from another factory using low paid, incompetent, overworked employees?
    I'm sure the German parts will be OK, but everything made in China is junk.

  • I'll essentially agree with Scooter, but did note that apparently CTA learned something from the NABI episode and inspected these cars.

    At the end of the article, apparently the Emanuel administration (let's call it what it is) is still stalling on its FOIA obligations. Lisa Madigan should tell CTA to comply.

    Otherwise, I commented in more detail here, so I won't bore your former readership with it.

  • with parts made in both Germany AND CHINA.

    Oh, when will they ever learn?
    Oh, when will they ever learn?

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