By Mike DeNardo


By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — SEPTA says it still hasn’t pinpointed how cracks developed in its regional rail cars, causing a third of its fleet to be sidelined.

The transit agency showed some of those cracks to reporters today.

“The crack on this particular one…”

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SEPTA's Greg Buzby points to a dyed crack on a beam assembly removed from a Silverliner V (credit: Mike DeNardo)

SEPTA’s Greg Buzby points to a dyed crack on a beam assembly removed from a Silverliner V
(credit: Mike DeNardo)

Looking at a rail car on a lift at SEPTA’s Overbrook Maintenance Facility, it was difficult to see the crack in the Silverliner V’s stabilizer beam. But a beam assembly removed from the car, treated with a red dye, clearly shows a two-inch crack in a weld.

SEPTA Assistant GM Ron Hopkins says metallurgic tests, and stress tests on empty rail cars, should help determine why the welds failed.

“We’re collecting a lot of data on the metallurgical analysis, the failure analysis. We’re compiling all of that data. And we expect sometime next week that we should be able to share the actual failure mode and some of our plans going forward.”

A red-dyed crack spans the width of the beam. (credit: Mike DeNardo)

A red-dyed crack spans the width of the beam.
(credit: Mike DeNardo)

In the meantime, SEPTA continues to lease cars to improve service. Hopkins wouldn’t provide a timeline for repairs. But he says the cars will NOT all be fixed by the end of summer.

“The entire fleet by Labor Day? 120 cars? No.”