Watch: Improvements in MBTA Orange Line rail yard to be completed a year ahead of schedule

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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MBTA’s Wellington Yard, the only yard on the Orange Line.

Substitution of bus service for Orange Line light-rail service will enable rail yard to be completed ahead of schedule.

To accommodate critical work at the Wellington Yard and Maintenance Facility as part of the MBTA’s Capital Program, shuttle buses will replace Orange Line train service between Oak Grove and Wellington stations from approximately 8:45 PM on Friday, July 29, through Sunday, August 28. The Capital Transformation team will hold a virtual public meeting on June 30, 2022, at 6 PM to discuss this acceleration schedule and provide more details regarding work at the Wellington Yard. During this 30-day acceleration planned for the Yard, crews will replace over 7,000 feet of track, four units of special track work, and over 2,000 feet of third rail. Capital Transformation is also in the process of working with other departments within the MBTA to identify additional improvements that can take place along the Orange Line to amplify the results during this 30-day period. A progress video of the ongoing work at Wellington Yard is available online.

Shuttle buses will replace Orange Line service between Oak Grove and Wellington from July 29 through August 28.


“Improvements made during the acceleration at Wellington Yard will drive this project closer to completion. Once complete, riders will experience more reliable service and less disruptions on the Orange Line. The completion of the yard and maintenance facility will also further support the delivery of our new Orange Line vehicles,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “We know these kinds of diversions can be frustrating, and I want to thank our Orange Line riders for their patience as we accomplish this important work on a much faster timeline.”

To date at the Wellington Yard, replacement of the track is 92% complete, special track work is 85% complete, and work on traction power and signals is 84% complete. (MBTA)

Upgrades made to the yard during the 30-day acceleration will improve service reliability and provide a safer, more accessible environment for workers. As a part of Capital Transformation, the Orange Line Transformation team will also continue to progress construction at Wellington’s Maintenance Facility throughout the acceleration. Once complete, Wellington will have a modernized, state-of-the-art facility where vehicles will be washed, maintained, and inspected and the yard will have all new track, including six additional storage tracks used to accommodate the expanded Orange Line fleet.

“The Capital Transformation team is committed to finding ways to accelerate construction efforts for our riders,” said MBTA Chief of Capital Transformation Angel Peña. “With Wellington’s 30-day acceleration scheduled, the new projected completion date of both the yard and maintenance facility is summer 2023 – a full year ahead of schedule. We are excited to continue working with communities along this area in order to deliver these improvements as quickly as possible.”

More Information about Alternate Service:

Due to the efforts planned for Wellington Yard, service from Oak Grove to Wellington stations will be replaced with free, accessible shuttle buses beginning at 8:45 PM on Friday, July 29, through Sunday, August 28. Shuttle buses will be a combination of MBTA buses and private carrier shuttles. Service will be monitored throughout the scheduled construction timeline and adjusted accordingly as needed.

From July 29 through August 28, shuttle buses will replace Orange Line train service in both directions between Oak Grove and Wellington. (MBTA)

Capital Transformation follows a holistic approach to transforming the Green, Orange, and Red Lines. The program is aligned by six Levels of Transformation: Improving Safety & Bringing Infrastructure into a State of Good Repair, Enhancing Accessibility, Replacing Legacy Fleets, Increasing Passenger Capacity, Modernizing Rider Experience, and Expanding Service.

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