Breakdown of new rail car caused big backup in Loop

A huge Loop backup of trains last week was due to a breakdown of one of the new Series 5000 rail cars running on the Pink Line, according to CBS Chicago. While the story doesn’t say specifically what the problem was, Jack noted in comment Thursday “that the 5000s are stalling at gaps in the third rail at Tower 18 junction.”

After well over a year of testing, is this really the first time this has happened?

This is my favorite line from CBS Chicago report: “CTA President Forrest Claypool winces when reminded of the breakdown, which took 38 minutes to remove but had ripple effects that lasted much longer. ”



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  • Various apparent insiders had posted earlier today that there was going to be some kind of announcement taking the cars out of service. One was posted as a CTA Press Release today, but it turns out it was about a wheel bearing casting issue discovered in Plattsburg and not about this.

  • In reply to jack:

    I left out after "posted" on

  • Interesting comment at a few days ago.
    The commenter was on a crowded 5000 & said the legs & feet projecting into the center aisle didn't give any more room for standees.
    I see this on the articulated buses that have only side seating.
    Plus, on the artics, in the trailer section, there are a couple of places where there are three narrow side seats, but room for four front/rear facing seats without decreasing standee space.
    Those blue seats on the artics are really narrow & for some insane standardization reason, there are several places on them where there are gaps that very small where no one can stand, but the seats don't fill the gap. The CTA could have bought wider seats, but didn't.
    The problems won't really show up until there are the massively overloaded trains on the Blue going into O'Hare early in the morning with airport employees & all rush hour Red Line trains. When there are 1.5 seats filled by one person, there may be fights breaking out.
    In two years, when Claypool has gone to his political reward for taking this job, this will be fixed at a staggering cost to the CTA.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    There's actually a lot more standing space. The issue is that Chicagoans won't move to empty spots, along with many thinking that stretching their legs is more important than people being able to get on. There have been several times when I can see through the windows that there's space in the middle of a train car and people won't move to let more riders in. It's a behavioral issue, not a design issue.

  • I just remembered that when the 2400s were delivered, they had wheels with separate shrink fitted steel tires.
    But the tires slipped on the wheels & all were replaced with solid wheels.

  • Claypool had no input on the purchase of these trains or design, Huberman did and not hard to figure way he liked the seating this way..

  • In reply to WHOSETHEBOSS:

    Heck, Claypool didn't even know that the cars were here.

    However, you are engaged in revisionism, as Huberman requested permission to change the design. Look back at the Presidents' Reports.

  • I don't know what is causing the gaps or are they on purpose, heat expansion or switch clearance? But from my experience this is how it is going to go down. Send about a dozen managers and engineers out there to take a look. Go back and come up with a solution, give it to the West Shops or farm it out for repair, and it will take about a year to fix. And then it will most likely be a band aid job.

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