MBTA Makes Progress on Red Line Trackwork; Removes 13 Speed Restrictions

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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Crews worked in critical track areas during the May Red Line diversion.
Courtesy of the MBTA Customer and Employee Experience Department

BOSTON – The MBTA has made progress on its Red Line and subsequently removed 13 speed restrictions.

A list of the speed restrictions removed can be found at the link here. On the Red Line, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) completed work between Park Street and JFK/UMass stations and between Park Street and Ashmont stations. As part of the work completed, crews replaced 11,500 feet of rail, over 1,500 ties, and 11,400 plates.

Infrastructure improvements were accomplished along the Red Line. Complimentary photo by the MBTA Customer and Employee Experience Department.

Additionally, crews surfaced and tamped 22,750 feet of track. MBTA’s MoW team completed the following:

  • “Added screw spikes near Andrew.
  • Replaced plates in the track curve area between South Station and Broadway and regauged approximately 1,200 feet of track.
  • Regauged the crossover track area at Broadway.
  • Replaced switch stock rail and four 39-feet lengths of rail.
  • Replaced rail at South Station (northbound).
  • Welded the special crossover “frog” track at the South Station and Ashmont crossover track areas.”
Critical track and tie improvement work was performed along the Red Line. Complimentary photo by the MBTA Customer and Employee Experience Department.

At Downtown Crossing and Broadway, crews inspected the platform and lobby areas and completed ceiling repairs and fireproofing work. Additionally, crews relocated Downtown Crossing signal equipment in the mezzanine area. This included “rewiring power connections, removing defunct equipment, and recommissioning all new equipment.” At JFK/UMass, crews performed security improvements and completed tunnel inspections between JFK/UMass and Broadway. At Ashmont, workers removed 180 square feet of glass panels to replace with new glass panels. 

Crews performed tie replacement work along the Red Line. Complimentary photo by the MBTA Customer and Employee Experience Department.

MBTA’s Signals team improved 30 track circuits and removed over 15 WEZE bonds, drilled 20 new holes for WEZE bond installation and replaced six damaged WEZE bonds, and removed and reinstalled around 4,000 feet of cable for rail replacements. The Signals team also completed switch replacement work at Shawmut, Fields Corner, and Broadway.

Crews performed infrastructure improvement work along the Red Line. Complimentary photo by the MBTA Customer and Employee Experience Department.

According to the release, in-station work took place along the Red Line, which includes:

  • “Painting doors, sign frames, and fences;
  • Door repairs;
  • Concrete repairs at Downtown Crossing; 
  • Repaired gates at the right of way areas at Downtown Crossing;
  • Repaired bike racks and fencing at JFK/UMass;
  • The replacement of eight stairways at Downtown Crossing, including replacing stair treads, flooring replacement, resecuring handrails, concrete repairs, deck patching, and more; 
  • Powerwashing between Downtown Crossing and Andrew;
  • Cleaned and rehabilitated restrooms areas;
  • Cleaning work throughout the shutdown area;
  • Waste receptacle replacements; 
  • Pump room, plumbing, and HVAC maintenance and repairs;
  • Cleaning and replacement of mile markers; and
  • Installing/replacing station signage, including system maps, throughout the shutdown area.”
Crews performed track work and more along the Red Line. Complimentary photo by the MBTA Customer and Employee Experience Department.

MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng said “With each diversion, we are delivering a safer and more reliable service to our riders. We continue to make great progress on this critical work to maintain the system. . . I thank our riders and the communities that we serve for their patience as we completed this critical work along the Red Line, and I especially want to thank our dedicated workforce and contractor crews. I continue to be proud of their collaboration and diligence during each of our diversions in service as we accomplish this vital work together.”

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