MBTA Continues Track Improvement Program

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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MBTA Photo

BOSTON ––The Track Improvement Program is a major track repair and replacement initiative to eliminate 191 speed restrictions, as of November 2023, and bring all tracks into a five-year state of good repair by the end of 2024.

Good repair means the infrastructure is structurally sound, functional, and meets all applicable safety and performance standards.

This program will affect track infrastructure across the Red, Orange, Green, and Blue lines to:

  • Enhance safety 
  • Reduce delays and disruptions 
  • Improve train speeds 
  • Deliver timely, reliable, and consistent service for riders 

Rider Impacts

To improve portions of the track, MBTA will implement some slow zones and diversions. Keep up to date on the impact to specific lines and commutes:

In addition to the resources listed above, MBTA will notify riders of service changes in other ways: 

  • In-station signage 
  • In-station public announcements 
  • On-site Transit Ambassadors and MBTA staff 
  • Sign up for service alerts via text or email
  • @MBTA on X (the site formerly known as Twitter)

How MBTA Prioritizes Rail Repair

Track Improvement Program repair work is prioritized on three factors: the age of the restriction, the severity of the defect, and the overall impact to riders. A speed restriction is an area in which trains are required to run at slower-than-normal speeds because of track wear and tear or other problems.

This program was created as a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) in direct response to the Federal Transit Authority’s (FTA) Safety Management Inspection. SD 22-04 CAP 8 creates a work plan focused on reducing the percentage of track under restriction across the heavy rail system. Improvement areas within the scope of this CAP include, but are not limited to, replacing rail and railroad ties as well as enhancing the MBTA track signal system.

For information on how trackwork will require alternative travel options in May, please follow this link.

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