The Chicago Transit Authority has taken out of service the 5000-series rail cars after CTA inspectors identified a small number of manufacturing-quality issues on parts used to build the cars.
The 40 new rail cars, which operate along the Pink Line, were taken out of service Thursday night as a precaution, as CTA and officials from Bombardier Transit Corporation, the rail car manufacturer, further study the issue.
Service on the Pink Line will not be impacted. Cars from CTA’s existing fleet will temporarily replace the 5000-Series cars, and service will remain on schedule.
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.
“This decision demonstrates an abundance of caution on our part as we work with Bombardier to address these issues,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool.
In addition to the inspections at the Bombardier plant in New York, Bombardier and CTA will also conduct inspections on all of the 52 rail cars already delivered to Chicago to determine if any further testing is needed.
All inspection and related work will be paid for by Bombardier as part of the contract warranty.
CTA ordered the new-generation rail cars in 2006, and tested the cars in 2010 and 2011. The cars went into full-time revenue service on the Pink Line in November 2011. The new cars will replace CTA's oldest rail cars, which are between 32 and 42 years old.
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