Continued problems at Silverliner V plant despite push for improvements

Though United Transit Systems delivered five additional Silverliner V railcars to SEPTA in April, a SEPTA report indicates the consortium has made only “modest improvements” to longstanding assembly problems at its South Philadelphia plant ― despite a push to improve material control.

UTS had originally hoped to deliver six cars to the authority.

There were 11 cars, out of a total of 120, in revenue service by the end of April.

Additionally, the protective covers on at least eight carshells being stored at the Packer Marine Terminal have been damaged, leading to water infiltration. According to the monthly progress report, the extent of the damage is unknown, and the cars were being reviewed by SEPTA and UTS, the consortium which is building the cars.

The report also notes that UTS “continues to struggle” with final water testing of cars before they are shipped to SEPTA, delaying deliveries. SEPTA is working with UTS to bring testing time down to two days from four.

A new assembly line workflow designed to increase productivity ― in which cars will travel to workers, rather than the other way around ― is also being implemented inconsistently, according to the report.

The consortium had also failed to install a new catenary line in the plant’s static test area by the end of April as scheduled to speed up assembly and testing.

The report does note, however, that most outstanding problems with the communication system on the railcars have been resolved and that UTS plans on delivering up to seven cars this month.

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