Transpennine Express has suffered another setback with the discovery of body cracks on some of its CAF Mk 5a locomotive-hauled coaches.
Regular inspections are being carried out on all active TPE ‘Nova 3’ vehicles, after abnormalities were found around the yaw damper and anti-rollbar bracket area on Standard Open vehicle 12707 of set TP01 on June 23.
Subsequent checks on the rest of the fleet uncovered another vehicle (Driving Trailer 12805 of set TP05) with a crack on the yaw damper mounting, and two others (TP04/ TP13) with early signs of stresses but no cracking.
According to documents seen by RAIL, the ‘C’ slot where the yaw damper and anti-rollbar bracket is attached to the body of 12707 has narrowed, and a detailed visual inspection revealed cracks in the inner solebar propagating either side of the anti-rollbar mounting.
Dimensional and visual inspections on the Mk 5a fleet have been increased from the standard 45-day interval to daily until further notice. Any ‘Nova 3’ sets exhibiting signs of cracking will be withdrawn from service.
TP01/05 have been stopped pending further assessment, and the operator has warned that some services could be cancelled or worked by Class 185 diesel multiple units owing to the shortage of available ‘Nova 3’ sets.
However, even before the issue was discovered, the fleet was not fully deployed because of a shortage of trained crews. Some sets were in storage.
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