All RTD commuter train cars must be repaired after crack found

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DENVER — Every commuter train car in RTD’s fleet must be sent in for repairs after a crack was discovered in May.

The same problem plagued Philadelphia’s mass-transit system in 2016 and caused headaches for commuters for months.

The crack that was discovered was tiny. It’s the width of a hair and only 2 inches long.

The news was initially reported by Colorado Public Radio.

But RTD is grateful it discovered the crack when it did, as the repairs will have less of an impact on customers. The crack was found in an equalizer beam on one rail car.

The impact is on RTD trains, not the light rail lines. RTD says the trains in service are not at a safety risk.

In 2016, Philadelphia had to pull more than 100 cars from its system, causing delays and backups for months.

RTD said inspectors were keeping an extremely close eye on the cars. Now that the crack has been found, the equalizer beam will be replaced in every car in the fleet.

Rail car trucks, the structure beneath the train to which the wheels and axles are attached, are being removed from the rail cars in Denver and being shipped separately to New Jersey for repairs. The manufacturer will cover the costs of the repairs.

RTD can space out the shipments so riders won’t notice a few cars are gone at a time. Inspectors have also increased the frequency they inspect cars.

The repair work will be finished later this year.

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