Still no definitive fix for defective SEPTA railcars


The on-going troubles facing SEPTA regional rail trains as one third of the fleet is out of service are not improving much.

State lawmakers held a hearing on the matter in far Northeast Philadelphia. 

SEPTA’s general manager Jeff Knueppel testified that the transit agency is doing everything it can to get its damaged cars back on the rails as soon as possible.

“I know right now there will be significant service impacts due to car shortages will happen though July and August, very soon we will be able to determine what will happen in September,” he said.Kneuppel says that will be more clear once they have a fix for the cracked equalizer bars.”We are looking right now at doing two different types of replacement options for this beam,” he said, “one with a very much different beam seat detail, and another option which is a forged beam which is one piece.”Kneuppel says a final decision won’t be made until extensive testing of both options is complete. 

The defective cars were assembled at Hyundai Rotem’s plant in South Philadellphia. To deal with the immense railcar shortage, SEPTA has been renting trains from NJ Transit, MARC in Maryland and Amtrak.  It’s costing about $250,000 a month.  The transit agency hopes to recover those costs from Hyundai Rotem, since the trains are still covered by the original warranty.

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