Digest: BART, citing reliability issues, says it will stop accepting delivery of new railcars

News Wire Digest second section for Dec. 29: Canadian government to fund expansion of Alberta rail terminal; Honolulu rail system names acting director
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Tuesday afternoon rail news:

BART to stop accepting new Bombardier railcars because of reliability issues

Bay Area Rapid Transit will stop accepting delivery of new railcars from Bombardier because of unresolved reliability issues. KNTV-TV reports BART says the “Fleet of the Future” cars have software issues that make the train routinely stop while in service, leading to delays of 5 to 10 minutes while the operator reboots the system. Under rainy conditions, the cars’ wheels are developing flat spots, which requires them to be removed from service for repairs. "BART is committed to supporting Bombardier Transportation as they work to address issues that impact the reliability and availability … and to implement pragmatic solutions that will provide the highest levels of performance for the new cars," the agency said in a statement. As of Dec. 4, the BART website reported it had received 282 cars out of a total order of 775, with 266 of those cars certified and 171 in service.

Canadian government to fund expansion of Alberta Midland Railway Terminal
The Canadian government has announced it will spend $5 million to expand rail infrastructure at the Alberta Midland Railway Terminal in Lanark County, Alberta, adding space for storage of 460 additional railcars and more than 40,000 feet of new track, including a connection to Canadian Pacific’s Willingdon Subdivision. The expansion will allow the terminal to handle unit trains of up to 8,500 feet for either CP or Canadian Naitonal. “We are supporting projects which help move goods efficiently to market, and people to their destinations; stimulate our economy during the pandemic; create good quality middle-class jobs; and ensure Canada’s transportation networks remain competitive and efficient,” Transport Minister Marc Garneau said in a press release. More information on the terminal is available here.

Former head of Honolulu environmental services to oversee rail project
Lori Kahikina, who has no transit experience but oversaw $5.2 billion in sewer projects as Honolulu’s director of environmental services, has been named the interim director of the city’s troubled light rail project. Hawaii News Now reports Kahikina takes over for Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation CEO Andy Robbins, whose contract expires at the end of the year and has not been renewed.

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