Hyundai Rotem Blames SEPTA Regional Rail Troubles on Improper Welding
Welding connecting the cars’ equalizer beams to plates that attach the cars’ wheel bearings have prompted fatigue cracks in the equalizer beams, company officials told the newspaper. When working efficiently, the equalizer beams distribute the weight of the Silverliner V Regional Rail cars to the axles.
Hyundai Rotem, the South Korean company responsible for designing and building the Silverliner V cars, is analyzing the weld. The issue forced SEPTA to remove 120 of the cars, which prompted the fallout of heavily adjusted and reduced train schedules for weeks and possibly months to come.
Andrew Hyer, the marketing and business development manager at Hyundai Rotem, told the Inquirer that Hyundai Rotem subcontracted HiCorp., a company based out of Zelienople, Pennsylvania, for the welding of its Silverliner V cars.
The paper placed a call to HiCorp. yesterday but was not able to receive comment. SEPTA officials have not yet confirmed that improper welding was the key issue that prompted the equalizer beams to crack.
SEPTA and Hyundai Rotem said fatigue tests were not conducted on the equalizer beams, which might’ve predicted how they would fare throughout repeated use. SEPTA is now conducting dynamic load testing to better understand the cause of the cracks.
SEPTA announced this week that it would employ entirely new equalizer beams in its future rail cars. Hyundai Rotem is testing new types of equalizer beams in effort to find the best option, which SEPTA will sign off on. The process could take up to six weeks.
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