Digest: Report says CRRC production issues predated pandemic

News Wire Digest fifth section for Oct. 26: NS recommends repair of Bluefield, W.Va., bridge; Metro-North service resumes on Waterbury Branch
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Monday midday rail news:

News report outlines CRRC production issues which have put MBTA subway cars a year behind schedule
Production problems at CRRC’s Springfield, Mass., factory were accumulating well before the facility was shut down for several weeks because of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to delays that mean it will take a decade from the time it was selected for the company to complete a 404-car order for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority subway system. The Boston Globe details issues ranging from managing of inventory than slower-than-expected production processes, and notes that at one point, MBTA issues fumed about a replacement-parts issue as an “example of CRRC’s poor-quality management.” Delivery of the subway cars is well behind schedule [see “MBTA subway car order falls a year behind schedule,” Trains News Wire, Oct. 6, 2020]. CRRC says most of the production delays are attributable to the pandemic, and the MBTA says the problems are being addressed.

NS recommends repairs to Bluefield bridge, spells out limits on its financial obligations
A Norfolk Southern official has told the city of Bluefield, W.Va., that it believes repairs to the existing structure are the most feasible solution to addressing the closure that has made access to downtown difficult for parts of the community. WVVA-TV posted a letter from Darrell Wilson, assistant vice president, government relations, in which Wilson says the railroad would be willing to discuss other alternatives to repairing the Grant Street Bridge, such as a new bridge. But he adds the railroad’s financial obligations will be capped at the limit of its maintenance obligations under a 1940 agreement between the railroad and city. The city said in September it planned to sue over the bridge, which has been closed since June 2019 [see “Digest: Springfield Terminal receives $16.9 million grant,” Trains News Wire, Sept. 22, 2020] but subsequently put those plans on hold when the railroad indicated a willingness to discuss the issue.

Metro-North service resumes on Waterbury Branch
Train service has resumed as of today on the Metro-North Railroad’s Waterbury Branch after almost five months. Rail service was replaced with buses as of April 6 for a $116 million capital project; a Connecticut Department of Transportation news release says work included signal and communications upgrades, track improvements, addition of a passing siding, and repairs to three major bridges. The project will be concluded in 2021.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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