Thursday, November 19, 2009

MBTA Blue Line trains move from four cars to six cars

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All trains on the Blue Line rapid transit line from Boston to Revere, Mass., have been upgraded from four to six cars, enabling the "T" to carry more passengers. The transition began and was completed this fall.

"With little fanfare, the Blue Line made the transition to all six-car trains at all hours of the day and night," said Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority spokesman Joseph Pesaturo. "The last of the old, unreliable cars were removed from service and now customers are served only by the new fleet of 94 cars."

The transition to all six-car trains came just as the modernization and accessibility project at Maverick Station was completed, he said.

According to Pesaturo, all of the old four-car trains have been replaced with the new six-car trains, which increases rider capacity by 50 percent. In September, the last month for which the MBTA has complete data, the Blue Line's on-time performance rate was 95 percent - its highest in 18 months.

"Today, 12 six-car trains operate 4-to-5 minutes apart in the peak commuting periods and 7-to-8 minutes apart during off-peak periods," he said.

Federal, state and Lynn officials have been working on a plan that would extend the Blue Line from its present terminus at Wonderland Station in Revere to the central train station on Market Street in downtown Lynn. Several studies have been completed but the project was most recently fouled when Revere officials allowed residents to occupy an apartment building constructed along the right-of-way for the track extension.

The plan must be revised so that the tracks can follow a path across part of Rumney Marsh, which could require additional environmental impact studies.

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