New SEPTA cars from CRRC to be delayed

Backups at Massachusetts factory cited for delay; SEPTA board also approves contracts for new Ardmore station
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PHILADELPHIA — The delivery of 45 new Regional Rail cars for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will be delayed into 2020.

The agency’s board learned of the delay at its meeting last week. At the same meeting, it approved $34.2 million in contracts to build a new station in Ardmore, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The bilevel cars will be delayed because manufacturer CRRC MA Corp, has fallen behind in production at its plant in Springfield, Mass. The company and SEPTA negotiated an agreement allowing the manufacturer a six-month grace period in exchange for changes in welding on the car’s shells. Manufacture of two prototypes will be shifted to China so they can be completed more quickly, allowing SEPTA to begin testing before the full car order arrives.

The first cars in the $138-million order were expected this year. With the delay, the order is expected to be completed by April 2021. CRRC’s winning bid for the contract was $34 million lower than the nearest competitor, Bombardier.

The station in Ardmore, about 8 miles west of Philadelphia, serves Amtrak’s Keystone Service, SEPTA’s Paoli/Thorndale line, and four bus routes. The new structure will replace a one-story brick structure built in 1957 by the Pennsylvania Railroad to replace a previous station had been destroyed by fire. Work on the new station is expected to begin this fall and be completed by 2022. The station will meet requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and have raised platforms, with canopies and shelters along the tracks. The federal government will also contribute $5.8 million to the project.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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