while im not certain how true it is, and I might have something mixed up, but IIRC they DID fix the problems, which I believe came from hollow axle shafts. I think they replaced all of them with solid axle shafts, however, the problem was with the now one unpowered truck, the remaining powered axles were suffering from overheating and stress/heat cracks from working harder at the higher speeds. So the decision was made to lower them to 80mph. When they were raised to 90 for that short time, I noticed no difference in ride or excessive vibration, other than a random car or pair that just had a bad ride to begin with.
The rebuild on the A3s was pretty much entirely propulsion related. They kept many of their original features/characteristics, including the long doors and transformers which required the manual change. they were freshened up on the inside, but all new door systems for long doors were not in the plans. Keep in mind that at the time, 1992/93, while there were plans for Midtown Direct and I think at that point construction started already, they already had that service covered with the ALPs and Comets. Also, the rules for operating with end doors open and traps up weren't changed yet, so it was common and easy to run with the end doors open and the traps up, like have been done seemingly since the beginning of railroading. Why redesign a piece of equipment that has what works very well already? Rebuilding the Comet 2 end doors in the 2001/02/03 rebuild to match the rest of the Comet fleet made sense, but it wouldn't make sense to have rebuild the A3s with long doors, at the time and the way things were operated then.
Even with the manual change now on the A3s, its not a big deal - if they need more MUs on the Hoboken side, they change them over when they come in for their 92 day inspection, which at any time, there are like 15-20 of them in the shop at any one time getting done anyway, so its not a huge deal. No they can't run on the Coast Line any longer or on Midtown Direct, but again, in the early 1990s when the rebuild was being planned and was going on, that wasnt' an issue.
On the RR, "believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see"
John, aka "JTGSHU" passed away on August 26, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion to railroading at railroad.net.