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MBTA finally gets new commuter-rail coaches, but watches its bond rating drop

New bi-level coaches from Korean manufacturer

Way late, but the T today took delivery of four new two-level commuter-rail coaches from Hyundai-Rotem at its Boston Engine Terminal in Somerville. According to a report by acting General Manager Jonathan Davis:

The coaches will be inspected today and over the next few months will undergo static and dynamic testing. Training of maintenance and operations personnel will officially kick off in early December. It is also important to note that members of the Vehicle Engineering department will be traveling to Korea on Saturday to meet with Hyundai Rotem's engineering and production staff to finalize design and confirm production compliance.

The company has an order for 75 of the new cars; the T now expects them to all be delivered by mid-2014, or about two years late. The T wants the cars to add capacity to commuter rail by replacing single-level coaches.

Meanwhile, the Boston Business Journal reports that Moody's today downgraded its rating a bit on $3.8 billion in T bonds because of "the transit system's sluggish operating performance and reliance on state sales tax revenue that has been stagnant for the better part of a decade."

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Why do they look like they've been through a hailstorm?

I mean, it doesn't matter really at all...just a bit weird, or maybe a peculiarity of the camera angle et al.

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Maybe plastic wrap to protect the paint job?

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