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OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Sprinter light-rail service between Oceanside and Escondido will resume Saturday, transportation officials said Thursday.

The North County Transit District took the trains of service on March 9, because the electrically activated brakes were wearing out too fast. The time- out enabled the NCTD, railcar maker Bombardier and contract operator Veolia to install new split-disc rotors on center axles.

Sprinter in OceansideAt 4:33 a.m. Saturday, Sprinter trains will start running again, according to the NCTD.

Buses bridged gaps in service while the trains were out of commission. Supplementary bus service will end May 24, the NCTD said.

Sprinte service was suspended a day before the agency was to celebrate the Sprinter’s five-year anniversary, but those plans were scrapped.

After repairs and a thorough review of railcar safety equipment, testing was supervised by the Federal Railroad Administration and the California Public Utilities Commission.

The Sprinter, its tracks and signals passed all tests.

Sprinter in OceansideSAN DIEGO — The return of Sprinter light rail service between Oceanside and Escondido is imminent, the North County Transit District announced Wednesday.

The agency scheduled a Thursday morning news conference to tell the public when the trains will start to run again.

The trains cars were taken out of service in early March, after accelerated wear patterns were discovered on rotors in their central disc braking systems. The shutdown allowed the NCTD, Bombardier and Veolia to perform repairs.

Buses have been carrying passengers along the route since the suspension of train service, which came one day before the agency was going to celebrate the Sprinter’s five-year anniversary.

The NCTD has been testing brakes on the Sprinter cars since early April.

OCEANSIDE, Calif. – Two temporary bus lines will shuttle passengers across North County for the next two-to-four months, as light rail passenger service on Sprinter trains will be disrupted due to emergency brake repairs, transit agency officials said Sunday.

sprinterThe North County Transit District was forced to scrub a fifth anniversary party, and cancel all train service on an emergency basis, when it was discovered that the electric trains’ brakes were wearing out much too fast.

NCTD officials halted all light rail service Friday night, after crews found rotors inside the central disc braking system were showing accelerated wear patterns, although tests results met manufacturer and California Public Utilities Commission brake performance standards, the agency said in a statement.

In the interim, transit officials planned to run two supplemental bus routes — the 618 Sprinter Express and the 620 Sprinter Express.

The 618 express routes will be run using a combination of Breeze busses and chartered busses, and will operate between transit centers in Oceanside and Vista, will run hourly with stops at Sprinter stations on Coast Highway, Crouch Street, El Camino Real, Rancho Del Oro, College and Melrose Drive.

Eastbound 618 service will start at 4:35 a.m. and extend until 10:18 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Friday’s schedule extends to 12:18 a.m. Saturday, for night owls.

Eastbound 618 service on Saturdays will begin at 5:33 a.m. and run until 12:09 a.m., and run from 5:33 a.m. to 9:09 p.m. on Sundays.

Westbound 618 service was set to start at 4:35 a.m. and run hourly until 10:14 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Friday night’s last bus starts at 12:14 a.m. Saturday.

Saturday 618 westbound service will run from 5:03 a.m. to 11:42 p.m., and Sunday service will run from 5:03 a.m. to 9:42 p.m.

The 620 Sprinter Express will run every 30 minutes during the workweek, and every 15 minutes during the morning and evening commute periods. It will stop at the transit centers in Oceanside, Vista, at Palomar College, Cal State San Marcos and the Escondido station.

Charter coach busses will be used for 620 line service, transit officials said.

Eastbound 620 weekday service will start at 4:10 a.m. and extend until 9:40 p.m. It’s Friday schedule extends until 12:40 a.m. Saturday.

Eastbound 620 busses are scheduled on Saturdays to run from 5 a.m. to 12:40 a.m., and from 5 a.m. to 9:40 p.m. on Sundays.

Westbound 620 busses will start at 4:15 a.m. at the Escondido Transit Center and run through 9:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Westbound service on Friday nights will be extended by two hours.

Westbound 620 service on Saturdays will start at 4:45 a.m. and end at 11:45 p.m., service was set to start at 4:45 a.m. on Sundays and extend until 9:45 p.m.

Starting Monday, NCTD staff and volunteers at Sprinter stations will don blue shirts and will help passengers navigate the alternate routes, according to the NCTD.

The train service interruption could last between two and four months, according to the agency. The shutdown will allow the NCTD, the manufacturer Bombardier and the contracted operator, Veolia, to perform repairs.

The suspension came one day before transit officials had planned to celebrate the five-year anniversary of Sprinter service.

Any rider who wants a monthly rail pass refund should call 760-966- 6500, email the NCTD’s customer service department at creportsnctd.com or see a customer service representative at the Oceanside, Vista or Escondido transit center.

Updates on the status of the Sprinter and alternative transportation options will be posted at GoNCTD.com, on Facebook.com/goNCTD at on Twitter goNCTD, according to transit officials.

ESCONDIDO Calif. – San Diego North County’s Sprinter train is going to be out of commission for up to 4 months.

sprinter“We’re acting in a proactive manner to remove the vehicles from service,” said Matt Tucker, Executive Director of the North County Transit District.

The news caught many Sprinter passengers off guard at the Escondido Transit Center Friday afternoon.

“It’s definitely going to inconvenience me,” said Ian Adishian, student.  “I don’t have a car and I can’t ride my bike all the way to school.”

“I’m not happy,” said Zellouise Parsons, who uses the strain twice a week. “It’s going to be difficult”

The light rail service is going off-line because of braking issues.  A state inspection last week identified problems with the friction braking system.

“The train has a 3 step braking process,” explained Don Saunders.  Saunders represents Veolia Transportation, one of the NCTD’s maintenance contractors.  “Of the 12 rotors on the braking system, 4 are showing premature wear by about a year.”Sprinter brakes

The problem was discovered last week during state inspections.  Repairs will begin immediately on all 12 of the Sprinter’s trains.  Work could last anywhere from 2 to 4 months, because the parts are foreign.

“This is not the case of a Toyota or any kind of vehicle,” said Tucker. “These are very customized specialized vehicles.”

Transit officials said there was never a question of safety.

“The braking performance of this vehicle is as good if not slightly better than the first day it was delivered,” said Saunders.

For the weekend of March 9 &10th, there will be an express bus for Sprinter passengers.  The bus will run every 30 minutes and mirror the route of the Sprinter.

For Monday and the following weeks, transit officials are still trying to solidify details.  An update on replacement service is expected in coming days.

When asked, passengers of the Sprinter didn’t seem to mind the inconvenience.

“They’re looking out for us because evidently they didn’t do something right,” said Parsons.  “The will take me where I need to go.”

“I guess I’ll try to find somebody who going to school on the days I go,” said Adishian.

Sprinter in OceansideSAN DIEGO — Brake problems prompted the North County Transit District to announce Friday that it will suspend Sprinter trains between Escondido and Oceanside for up to 120 days.

The service disruption could last between two and four months, according to the agency.

In its place, bus service will run every half-hour this weekend. Alternative bus service for the weekdays is still being arranged, according to the NCTD.

The move comes one day before transit officials had planned to celebrate the five-year anniversary of Sprinter service. A celebration scheduled for Saturday was canceled.

The agency said accelerated wear patterns were discovered on rotors in the central disc braking system for its train cars. The shutdown will allow the NCTD, Bombardier and Veolia to perform repairs.

The weekend buses will run between the Escondido and Oceanside transit centers, and stop at the Vista Transit Center, Cal State San Marcos and Palomar College, according to the NCTD.

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