New CTA Trains Far From Perfect

Prototypes pulled from test run due to brake issues

By Kate Allt
|  Thursday, May 27, 2010  |  Updated 3:45 PM CDT
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A set of new prototype CTA trains have been yanked from service due to malfunctioning parts.

The 10 test trains, which have already been used to carry passengers, were found to have brakes that could erode over time and cause a loss of brake friction, according to a CTA press release.

Some riders have also called for better lighting, thicker windows and different surface textures.

The CTA says they'll get these issues fixed before moving forward with an order for 396 new cars to replace their aging fleet.

The train's issues, whether they are passenger comfort or train technicalities, take on added importance with the number of commuters increasing nationally. According to an analysis of data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, commuter rail travel has experienced a 69 percent increase from 1980 to 2008.

This increase is expected to continue, especially if the current economic crisis persists. All those commuting train riders deserve to travel in comfort. 

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