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City replacing streetcar hardware in preparation for winter weather

City replacing streetcar hardware in preparation for winter weather
Posted at 11:10 AM, Dec 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-04 11:11:59-05

CINCINNATI -- The city is in the process of replacing streetcar vehicle hardware that malfunctioned during prolonged subfreezing temperatures last winter, the city manager said in a memo Tuesday.

Acting City Manager Patrick Duhaney said the firm that manufactured Cincinnati's five streetcar vehicles -- Elmira, New York-based CAF USA -- replaced air compressors on two of the vehicles this fall, after testing the new design earlier this year at their New York facility.

CAF is in the process of testing the new compressors during passenger service and will install the new compressors on the remaining three vehicles this month, Duhaney said.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Cincinnati streetcar

CAF is providing and installing the new compressors at no additional cost as part of its warranty agreement with the city.

The air compressors malfunctioned due to ice forming and clogging the pipes in the streetcars' pneumatic system, Duhaney said. The updated compressors include a heating element to prevent ice from forming, among other improvements, according to the memo.

The malfunctioning compressors posed a safety concern and caused multiple streetcar shutdowns last December and January. The transit authority informed the city that streetcar closures would continue in extremely cold weather if the compressors were not replaced.