Track Geometry Scan of Green Line Extension Shows Defect; MBTA Reduces Speed

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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BOSTON – The MBTA will reduce speed on a section of track on its Green Line Extension following an inspection.

Boston’s WCVB5 reports the MBTA will reduce speed on a section of track on its Green Line Extension following an inspection. After inspectors conducted a geometry scan, they found instances where the track gauge was “out of the limits of the regular track standards,” according to Joe Pesaturo, a spokesperson for the MBTA. The inspection found the track gauge to be too narrow. 

Subsequently, the speed on those defective areas has been reduced, as shown on MBTA’s Speed Restrictions Dashboard, while the MBTA tries to figure out what caused the narrowing. As of reporting, there are 83 restrictions on the Green Line.

Courtesy of MBTA Speed Restriction Dashboard

Pesaturo went on to comment that for MBTA, its top priority is “safety,” and “the current speed restrictions are in place until the defects are addressed during overnight periods on the Medford Branch and during the ongoing closure of the Union branch.”

MBTA General Manager, Philip Eng said the MBTA is “committed to addressing infrastructure problems that we have inherited caused by years of disinvestment and past decisions that have led us to this point in time.” As well, he commented on how much work will be performed during “diversions, overnights, and weekends to improve riders’ experience.”

The Green Line Extension runs from the “northern end of the Green Line to Lechmere to Union Square in Somerville and College Avenue in Medford.” Because the last branch of the Green Line Extension opened less than a year ago, Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn questions the design, asking: “What happened with design and why is it open less than a year when we seem to have a narrowing of the tracks?” Mayor Lungo-Koehn reached out to the MBTA for a response, but she hasn’t “made contact with anyone from the T yet. So, I think my first reaction is just a little bit of disappointment. . . I wish I was given a heads up because I do have some questions. My questions are how are we going to fix this, how long is it going to take?”

According to the report, officials have stated that “speed restrictions on the Union branch will be removed before Green Line service resumes next month.” 

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