News & Reviews News Wire MBTA pulls cars from service after brake issue

MBTA pulls cars from service after brake issue

By Trains Staff | May 20, 2022

| Last updated on March 1, 2024

Inspections reflect ‘abundance of caution,’ agency says

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Rapid transit trainset in factory
The pilot car in CRRC’s order for the MBTA Red Line is shown at the CRRC MA factory in September 2019. Equipment delivered as part of a 402-car order has been sidelined after a reported braking issue. CRRC MA, via Twitter

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has removed its newest rapid-transit equipment from service after a car was disabled by braking problems.

NBC Boston reports 64 Orange Line cars and six Red Line cars built in Springfield, Mass., by an affiliate of China’s CRRC were pulled from service for inspections “out of an abundance of caution,” according to MBTA officials, and that the braking issue did not put riders or employees at risk.

Service continued on both lines using older equipment, but passengers may experience slightly longer wait times between trains.

The equipment — part of an order for 402 cars for the two lines — had previously been removed from service after a March 2021 low-speed derailment blamed in part on issues with their trucks [see “MBTA says issues with wheelsets led to Orange Line derailment,” Trains News Wire, June 7, 2021]. They were returned to service about five months later.

6 thoughts on “MBTA pulls cars from service after brake issue

  1. How come, with all the technology we have these days, no one really knows how to build stuff. Doesn’t matter if it’s a rail car or an airliner. Computers, as we know them now, were still in their infancy. The rail cars now being retired are 40 to 50 years old and were designed & engineered using the old fashion slide rule. You would think with CAD programs and new materials not even thought of years ago, we would have the best possible products made.

    But no, we get garbage. It seems that by the time they get all the bugs worked out, it’ will be time to scrap them.

  2. I can’t wait to see what issues arise when Chicago’s CRRC cars enter service. Despite being built locally in the Hegeswich neighborhood, I have low expectations. The cars introduce nothing revolutionary and, in my opinion, look outdated from the start.
    Then again, I do remember the last series of cars, the 5000s from Bombardier had several issues as well upon introduction.

  3. They didn’t have trouble with the Pullman built cars in 1980. Buy china products, get China quality.

    1. Hey guy, hey Mark, these railcars are built in your half of God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Framingham and east is my (former) half of the Bay State. West of Framingham to the New York State line is your half.

      Seriously, though, a comment: For better or for worse this must be the first joint order of rolling stock for more than one of the four subway lines (Red and Orange in this case), as each of the four lines has unique equipment. The Red Line cars are longer and wider than the Orange Line loading gauge. Good to see some shared technology and parts.

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