Two Market-Frankford subway cars were found to have cracks in the bolster beams. Septa has 218 Market-Frankford cars.The bolster which is load-bearing, links the body of the car to the wheel assembly underneath. Speaking on behalf of SEPTA, the cracks were discovered as part of an ongoing overhaul on the 20 year old M-4 trains according to Andrew Busch. 58 others were found to have cracks in an adjoining nonstructural vent. What concerns SEPTA officials is that it is believed the cracks began in the vents and then spread. SEPTA General Manager, Jeff Knueppel had stated that he believes "it is going from the vent to the beam". It is not known yet what is causing the cracks, nor how to repair them yet. Out of an abundance of caution, the trains are being pulled, resulting in transit delays.
As recently as September of 2016 SEPTA had temporarily sidelined 18 recently repaired Silverliner V rail cars. Manufacturer Hyundai Rotem had repaired the units to address a flaw in their suspension systems. The manufacturer made a minor design modification to the foot that supported the new equalizer beam at both ends. The cars were back in service after about a week. In July of 2016 SEPTA sidelined all 120 Silverliner V cars from service after workers discovered fatigue cracks in the equalizer beams on 115 of the units. The beams are part of the rail-car suspension system and distribute the vehicle's weight to the axles. The agency began returning the cars to service at the end of August.
Because safety is of the highest priority it is wise that SEPTA is erring on the side of caution and is thoroughly investigating the problem. Whether or not it is a result of wear and tear or whether or not there is a maintenance issue or a design defect caused by the manufacturer, should an accident occur SEPTA would be primarily liable because of their duty to maintain safe vehicles. For more details on why SEPTA has pulled these cars, go to PlanPhilly.com.
If you have experienced any injuries as the result of the negligence of any entity, company or organization, you may be eligible for compensation. The Brod Law Firm is dedicated to fighting for our clients to get the best results possible. Contact them online or call 888-435-7946 for a free consultation. We serve all of the state of Pennsylvania from our offices in Philadelphia, Reading and Bala Cynwyd.