Sprinter train returns to service in North County

OCEANSIDE, Calif. - For the first time in more than two months, work-week commuters will be able to ride the Sprinter light-rail train service between Oceanside and Escondido Monday.

The North County Transit District took the diesel-powered train cars out of service on March 9 after it was discovered that their brakes were wearing out much too fast. Service was restored on Saturday, according to NCTD officials.

Buses carried passengers along the route during the train service suspension, which came one day before the agency was going to celebrate the Sprinter's five-year anniversary. Plans for the celebration were scrubbed in light of the brake trouble.

During the time-out, the NCTD, manufacturer Bombardier and contracted operator Veolia installed new split-disc rotors on center axles.

The NCTD tested the brakes on the Sprinter cars -- under the supervision of the Federal Railroad Administration and the California Public Utilities Commission -- before the suspension was lifted.

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