Another delay for SEPTA's new Silverliner V cars

Posted: December 04, 2010

SEPTA's new Silverliner V cars are being further delayed by production problems at the South Philadelphia factory where they are being assembled.

The first three production cars that were to be delivered Friday, after being pushed back from mid-November, are now expected to be another three to four weeks late, SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams said Friday.

The cars "are still in the testing process" after delays caused last month when workers accidentally damaged wiring harnesses as they drilled through cover plates, Williams said.

Six more cars that were to be delivered by the end of December are also likely to be further delayed.

The cars are being built by Hyundai-Rotem Corp., a subsidiary of South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Group.

The cars are built in a South Korean plant and shipped to a factory on Weccacoe Avenue in South Philadelphia for final assembly.

Production delays have repeatedly pushed back delivery of the 120 new Silverliner V railcars that SEPTA is buying for $274 million.

The only Silverliner V cars now in service are three "pilot" cars that were fully built and assembled in South Korea. They were put into service Oct. 29.

Inexperienced workers, late material shipments, poor workmanship, and management problems have caused ongoing delays at the South Philadelphia factory.

Hyundai-Rotem has hired more workers locally and brought more employees in from its plant in Changwon, South Korea, to try to speed production.

The new cars will replace 73 Silverliner II and III railcars built in the 1960s. With the retirement of the old cars and the addition of the 120 new ones, SEPTA is expected to have about 400 railcars by the end of 2011.


Contact staff writer Paul Nussbaum

at 215-854-4587 or pnussbaum@phillynews.com.

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