Department of Transportation

Turboliner Modernization Project: Project Delays

In the Turboliner Modernization Project, seven existing Amtrak trainsets, consisting of five cars each, were to be remanufactured so that they could travel at higher speeds. The trainsets were to be remanufactured by a contractor that was overseen by the Department of Transportation. We examined the progress made in the remanufacturing process as of October 31, 2002. According to the contract, six of the seven trainsets should have completed the process at that time. However, we found that the remanufacturing process was significantly behind schedule, as none of the seven trainsets had completed the process and only two of the seven were close to completion. Moreover, these two trainsets, the prototypes for the other seven, were nearly four years behind schedule.

We determined that the project was delayed by a number of factors, in particular the contractor’s lack of engineering expertise and lack of experience with projects of this nature. We also determined that Amtrak did not provide accurate legacy diagrams to the contractor, and the Department did not effectively monitor the design and remanufacturing processes. We further determined that the cost of the contract had escalated from an initial estimate of $53 million to at least $74.4 million. We recommended that a special ad hoc group be created within the Department of Transportation to investigate the reasons for the delays and cost increases, and develop an action plan for preventing further delays and cost increases.

For a complete copy of Report 2002-S-52 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.