MBTA Launches Track Improvement Program

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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MBTA Green Line train

BOSTON – The MBTA is launching the Track Improvement Program, which seeks to remove existing speed restrictions and fix tracks by the end of 2024.

The MBTA announced that as part of its efforts to “Rebuild, Restore, and Reimagine,” it is launching the Track Improvement Program, which seeks to remove existing speed restrictions and fix tracks by the end of 2024. According to the agency, the program will include “spot repairs, tie replacements, rail replacement, and ballast replacement.” The agency will also expand its engineering teams and engage with contractors. Through this program, the MBTA will schedule construction and maintenance work in a way that reduces shutdown periods. 

Phillip Eng, MBTA’s General Manager and CEO, said that through this program, the MBTA is “addressing the root causes of the speed restrictions that have accumulated over decades. . . Our efforts to rebuild track infrastructure across the Red, Orange, Blue, and Green Lines will improve train speeds substantially, reduce delays and disruptions, enhance safety, and deliver timely reliable, and consistent service for our riders. Our team is deeply committed to seeing this through and we thank the public for their patience as we move the T forward. We will have a robust open house schedule to ensure the public has an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the various projects throughout the year.”

Similarly, Monica Tibbits-Nutt, Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Acting Secretary and CEO, said the plan is a “bold and ambitious one,” but that it is “necessary to ensure the long-term safety and reliability of the MBTA system.”

As of November 6th, there have been 191 speed restrictions this year for the MBTA. Now, it is expecting that by the end of 2024, it will have been able to “revitalize over 27,900 railroad ties and 124,880 feet of track” as well as tamp over 208,000 feet to ensure a smoother riding surface. 

The MBTA will be working on its Green Line for the remainder of 2023, and it has laid out a work schedule for 2024 for its Red Line, Orange Line, Green Line, and Blue Line:

Red Line:

  • Alewife to Harvard from February 5 – February 13, 2024
  • Park Street to JFK/UMass from May 1, 2024 – May 8, 2024
  • Alewife to Kendall/MIT from July 8, 2024 – July 23, 2024
  • JFK/UMass to Braintree from September 3, 2024 – September 18, 2024
  • Kendall/MIT to Broadway from October 15, 2024 – October 20, 2024
  • Broadway to North Quincy from December 1, 2024 – December 6, 2024
  • Harvard to Park Street from December 14, 2024 – December 19, 2024

Orange Line:

  • Haymarket to Jackson Square from March 18, 2024 – March 21, 2024
  • Sullivan Square to Back Bay from May 28, 2024 – June 6, 2024
  • Wellington to North Station from July 20, 2024 – July 27, 2024
  • Oak Grove to North Station from August 17, 2024 – August 22, 2024
  • Back Bay to Forest Hills from September 25, 2024 – October 5, 2024

Green Line:

  • North Station to Lechmere from November 12, 2024 – November 25, 2024
  • North Station to Kenmore, Heath Street, Babcock Street from January 3, 2024 – January 12, 2024
  • Copley to St. Mary’s, Babcock Street, Brookline Hills from February 20, 2024 – March 8, 2024
  • Boston College to Kenmore from July 31, 2024 – August 9, 2024
  • Cleveland Circle to St. Mary’s from October 28, 2024 – November 2, 2024

Blue Line:

  • Airport to Wonderland from April 9, 2024 – April 12, 2024
  • Bowdoin to Airport after revenue service construction work (Night Orders)
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