Doors Opening On A Moving Train
This week, after doors had opened on a moving train with passengers on board, the MTA pulled out its $600 million subway car fleet, transit officials said Thursday.
According to New York City Transit President Andy Byford, the R179 car— one of about 300 “lemons” bought from manufacturer Bombardier — was considered to be inadequate for use on 7 January two weeks after the opening of a four-inch C train on Christmas eve.
When another car showed similar problems about 10 days later, researchers found evidence of a systemic design issue, Byford said at the MTA’s headquarters press conference.
“You don’t easily remove a fleet,” said Bydord. “I saw enough to say to me. I’m not going to check this entire fleet.”
Both incidents — the first of which is on a Southbound C train near High Street and the second on Jay Street-MetroTech — prompted transit officials to remove the whole fleet and replace it with old cars, as Bombardier and the MTA study the problem.
Bombardier told the MTA of the Jan. 7 issues, and, thanks to a “herculean” effort on behalf of MTA staff, the cars were pulled out of the tracks that night, said Byford.
In four days after pulling the R179s, 24 of the 298 cars were checked, and none of them were accepted for re-entry, Byford says.
Older replacement cars now operate on A, C, and J lines, and, according to transit officials, one had broken down as of 9 January.
No car will return to service until an approval stamp of independent third party experts from LTK and new software is issued, which will monitor the status of vehicles, Byford said.
The MTA will seek legal proceedings against suppliers to recover the fleet’s costs.
An audit carried out by the office of Comptroller Scott Stringer found repairs cost the city about $35 million by December 2019.
Stringer said MTA’s lack of control on Wednesday was to blame for the three years late “lemon” train trucks that MTA got, but Byford pointed out its responsibility to the suppliers.
Byford added that the MTA had secured 18 free Bombardier cars after a series of deadlines had been missed.
According to the reports, the MTA had to pull only 298 cars since 20 had been withdrawn from service due to braking, heating, ventilation, and doors issues.
According to the MTA, the R179s account for around 4.5% of the MTA’s 6716 car fleet.