Massachusetts Bay Transport Authority (MBTA) has deployed the new CRRC metro cars on Boston’s Orange Line, with the first six-car train entering commercial service from Wellington Station.
These 6 new cars entering passenger service today are the first of 152 new Orange Line cars that will completely replace and expand the current Orange Line fleet ensuring an additional 30,000 riders per day can be accommodated on the Orange Line once all cars have entered passenger service.
“Introducing the first of the new Orange Line cars into service is an important milestone in our administration’s work to deliver a modern, reliable, and safe transportation system for riders,” said Massachusetts Governor, Charlie Baker.
The new Orange Line cars incorporate a variety of new features that improve reliability, maintainability, communications, safety, and comfort. They include more spacious interiors, LED lighting, automatic passenger counters, closed circuit cameras and video recording, and onboard diagnostics for operators and maintenance staff. The new vehicles also feature various accessibility improvements, including wider door openings, gap mitigation devices, additional passenger emergency intercoms, more handrails, 4 accessible access locations per car and modern audio and visual passenger information.
When all new cars are in service and infrastructure projects have been completed, Orange Line headways (time between trains) will be reduced from 6 minutes to 4.5 minutes with an increase in capacity by almost 40 percent.
In 2014, the MBTA awarded CRRC a contract to design and manufacture 152 new Orange Line and 252 new Red Line metro cars, the FMCB approved the expanded procurement from 132 Red Line cars to 252 Red Line cars in December 2016, completely replacing and expanding both car fleets.
Delivery of the new Orange Line cars is underway with all cars being assembled and tested at CRRC’s assembly facility in Springfield, Massachusetts, before entering a testing phase at the Wellington Yard and Maintenance Facility. It is anticipated that the next brand new 6-car Orange Line train will enter service in the fall 2019 with new cars continuing to enter passenger service incrementally through 2022.
Total value of the Red Line and Orange Line procurement programme is USD 1 billion.