CHICAGO — The CTA announced that the 5000-series prototype rail cars most recently being tested on the Green Line have been temporarily removed from service so that engineers can install and test a modification to the braking system. The 10 prototype rail cars were tested out-of-service since last fall and began in-service testing April 19th on the Red Line and moved to the Green Line on May 17.
Bombardier, the rail car manufacturer, has been working on a modification that will improve the operation of the brakes. Although the test trains have not experienced any failure, under certain conditions a component was found to be affected by vibrations, which over time could result in a temporary loss of friction brake.
Once the adjustment has been made, the rail cars will be tested out-of-service before resuming testing again on the Green Line in a few weeks.
“Testing new rail cars is a long process. We need to be able to evaluate their performance against a number of variables,” said CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez. “Thorough testing on each line gives us the opportunity to make adjustments as needed. We want to be sure the cars perform satisfactorily in all weather conditions and under the normal wear and tear they’ll experience on our system. We don’t plan to finalize our order until all of the mechanisms have been satisfactorily tested and evaluated.”
The prototype rail cars will ultimately undergo testing across all eight of CTA’s rail lines through the end of this year. The 10 prototype rail cars are being tested to evaluate performance under real-world operating conditions. The rail cars must successfully complete testing before CTA will authorize the delivery of the remaining 396 rail cars.