News & Reviews News Wire MBTA letter blasts CRRC for manufacturing issues

MBTA letter blasts CRRC for manufacturing issues

By Trains Staff | January 5, 2023

| Last updated on February 7, 2024

Letter, which preceded latest issue that sidelined new Orange Line cars, says manufacturer has ‘abandoned core responsibilities’

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Subway train at station
Prior to its latest issue with its CRRC-built Orange and Red Line equipment, the transit agency sent the manufacturer a letter blasting its quality control. MBTA

BOSTON — Days before the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority removed some of its newest rapid transit cars from service for the latest in a series of mechanical issues, the agency claimed in a letter that the manufacturer of those cars “has completely abandoned its core responsibilities and commitment to lead, monitor, and support quality management,” the Boston Globe reports.

The letter, obtained by the Boston Globe, from MBTA Deputy Director Mark DeVitto to the project manager of CRRC MA — the Massachusetts affiliate of Chinese equipment maker CRRC — is dated Dec. 22. On Dec. 30, the MBTA said it had removed nine of the CRRC-built Orange Line cars from service because of power-cable issues with the potential to cause electrical arcing [see “MBTA sidelines some Orange Line cars …,” Trains News Wire, Dec. 31, 2022]. That is the latest in a long list of issues that has led the cars to be pulled from service or pushed their delivery more than a year behind schedule.

The letter lists some 16 specific complaints, including “chronic workmanship quality issues with electrical assembly work, wire crimping, wire terminations, etc.,” and “failure to manage handling, maintenance, and storage requirements for critical equipment (gear units) in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.”

An MBTA spokesman told the Globe in an email that CRRC has said it will respond to the letter this week, and that the MBTA “continues to assess all available remedies” to the equipment issues. Those include penalties of up to $500 per car day for late delivery [see “CRRC order for new MBTA cars falls futher behind …,” News Wire, Sept. 30, 2022].

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