Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties
This morning at approximately 7:55 a.m., the locomotive on Media/Elwyn Line Train #9340, experienced mechanical difficulties, and the train became disabled at Swarthmore Station. This AEM-7 engine, built in 1987, is one of the seven (7) locomotives that have exceeded their useful life and become prone to in service failures affecting on time performance.
Given the age of this equipment, SEPTA has established a practice of assigning a mechanic to ride with the train to trouble shoot any issues that may arise. This morning, a mechanic was onboard #9340, however they were unable to immediately remedy the mechanical issue on location.
The approximately 300 customers on #9340 were rescued by an empty train, which reversed travel into Center City to complete the scheduled trip. The incident caused two other trains to be cancelled and created delays for several other AM trains.
The affected engine was towed to a SEPTA maintenance shop to receive further diagnosis and repairs. SEPTA is replacing these 7 locomotives with 15 new locomotives through a contract with Siemens. The procurement is on schedule, with the delivery of the first pilot expected in February 2018. The arrival of these new locomotives, through the remainder of 2018 will increase reliability and on-time performance. Until the legacy equipment can be replaced, we will take all measures to maintain the existing locomotive fleet in an effort to minimize delays and customer travel inconvenience.