It has been six years since then-CTA president Frank Kruesi -- who in 2012 is herding goats and making cheese in North Carolina -- so long ago signed a contract with Bombardier Transportation of Canada for hundreds of new rail cars. The trains started arriving in Chicago in late 2011. And after receiving a tantalizing but brief ride on the new rail cars, CTA customers are back riding old trains plagued by lurching stops and starts and doors that often malfunction.
The new trains aren’t safe, the Tribune has learned from an ongoing CTA investigation. On the under-belly of the trains near the wheels are shoddy steel parts made in China. The parts are internally defective, X-rays and other tests determined. The odds of the parts breaking are great, likely causing a moving train to derail, officials said. CTA inspectors uncovered the problem, not Bombardier, which has its nameplate on the trains.
The CTA has been less than completely cooperative in reporting this news, denying one Tribune Freedom of Information Act request and stalling on another, while working quietly with Bombardier, which defers all comment to CTA officials. But we got the story.
Join Trib Nation on Facebook for more of the how and why of Tribune journalism.Copyright © 2015, CT Now