MBTA Completes ‘Critical Track Work’ on Orange Line; Removes Speed Restrictions

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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Infrastructure improvements were accomplished along the Orange Line.
Courtesy of the MBTA Customer and Employee Experience Department.

BOSTON – After a four-day closure, MBTA crews were able to complete track work that allowed for the removal of speed restrictions along the Orange Line.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has removed seven speed restrictions after making progress on track work on its Orange Line. Service on the Orange Line between Jackson Square and North Station was suspended for four days so crews could have access to complete track work. 

MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng said, “With each step, we are following through on our commitment to rebuild our tracks to give our riders the improved reliable trip they deserve. I’m proud of the dedicated workforce that worked in a short window of time while delivering on significant work along the Orange corridor. . . There is much more to do, and we are determined to make tough decisions to prioritize work while balancing the need to ensure the public has sufficient options to use mass transportation alternatives. We thank riders for their patience and understanding as we continue reinvesting in our infrastructure and make important progress to give them a system that they can rely on and be proud of.”

Crews performed track work in the underground tunnel of the Orange Line. Courtesy of the MBTA Customer and Employee Experience Department.

Some of the work completed include: installing over 5,000 feet of rail, replacing 27 cologne egg rail fasteners, installing almost 260 plates, replacing 10 switch timbers embedded in concrete, replacing 500 feet of stringer cable, replacing nine third rail insulators, and 63 rail shoulders were cored. As well, crews performed tunnel inspections between State and Haymarket as well as inspections of stations at Chinatown, Massachusetts Avenue, Ruggles, and Roxbury Crossing and between Jackson Square and Downtown Crossing.

In the State station “Rainbow Corridor,” crews replaced concrete slab sections and performed concrete coring in eight locations between Roxbury Crossing and Chinatown. At Downtown Crossing, security and emergency management enhancements were made. Finally, crews “performed visual surveys and measurements of tunnels, communication rooms, and emergency exits form Ruggles to State in support of the MBTA’s Statewide Radio System cable installation path.” 

At stations along the Orange Line, crews completed the following:

  • “cleaning, sanding, and painting wooden station benches; 
  • fire retardant installations; 
  • station painting;
  • door repairs;
  • yellow tactile edging repairs to platforms; 
  • flooring repairs to prevent tripping hazards; 
  • concrete repairs; 
  • stairway upgrades and repairs, including handrail repairs; 
  • waste receptacle replacements; 
  • powerwashing and cleaning work; and
  • installing/replacing station signage, including system maps.”

A full list of speed restrictions removed on the Orange Line and four restrictions removed on the Red Line can be found here.

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