PATCO Unhappy Refurbished Trains Still In Test Mode

By David Madden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – PATCO is getting a little impatient with the contractor hired to replace the engines and interiors of its 120 car fleet and the Delaware River Port Authority let them know about it behind closed doors Wednesday.

Alstom Transport has a five-year, $194-million contract. More than three years in, only eight cars are finished and they’ve had software and communication issues that have delayed their public use.

But that could change, according to DRPA CEO John Hanson, who says those cars will soon be track tested:

“Over the course of five days we’ll run them 500 miles. It’s like four round trips on the system simulating regular stops.”

If those issues are gone, the cars will go into regular service. If not, it’s back to the drawing board.

“Just like our customers, we are very anxious to have the new cars in revenue service and our eagerness to have that accomplished, I’m sure, came through in our discussion,” Hanson said.

Another two dozen cars are said to be ready at Alstom’s plant in New York state.

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