Management & Operations

Updated: Calif. Sprinter light rail system to resume service

Posted on May 16, 2013

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — The North County Transit District’s (NCTD) Sprinter light rail system is set to resume service this weekend, more than two months after it was shut down because of accelerated wear on the trains’ brake rotors, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

NCTD has yet to say what caused the rapid brake-rotor wear on all 12 trains. For the full story, click here.

Updated:   NCTD issued this press release

North County Transit District, its contractor Veolia Transportation, and its sub-contractor Bombardier Transportation are pleased to announce the Sprinter light rail train will resume full, regularly scheduled service at 4:33 a.m. Saturday, May 18. The SPRINTER will operate on the regular schedule which is posted at The last day of the supplemental express bus service will be Friday, May 24.

The resumption of full service comes following the completion of extensive safety testing, the review of replacement parts, and inspections of the overall vehicle and railroad infrastructure by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
The Sprinter, its signals, and tracks passed all testing with outstanding results and will resume service with vehicles equipped with split disc rotors on the center axles.

An unparalleled commitment to safety is the guiding principle at the transit agency. During the past two months, NCTD, Veolia, and Bombardier worked collaboratively to implement business improvement strategies to strengthen maintenance practices and improve contractor oversight, all ahead of NCTD’s original schedule. The FRA and CPUC reviewed and approved these strategies.

In addition to repairing the vehicles and instituting the maintenance and oversight enhancements, NCTD, Veolia, and Bombardier performed other
routine maintenance work on the Sprinter, which included engine checks, air conditioning system maintenance, graffiti removal, extensive cleaning, replacement of worn seat fabric, and exterior waxing of the vehicles to ensure the Sprinter returns to service in like-new condition.
‘Blue Crew’ ambassadors will staff Sprinter stations the first four days of operations to provide assistance and welcome back passengers. On Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19 they will be at the stations from 7 – 11 a.m. and 1 – 5 p.m. On Monday, May 20 and Tuesday, May 21 the Blue Crew will be out from 5 – 9 a.m. and 2 – 6 p.m.
The letter from the CPUC clearing the Sprinter for revenue service and other documentation is available at

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