Special to the Times
With a planned re-opening of the Orange Line on Monday, MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak announced that 82% of the work taking place along the Orange Line is complete and track work taking place between Dana Bridge and North Station will allow for the removal of three more slow zones, which will bring the total number of slow zones removed to five.
Work taking place in this area includes track and tie replacement, rail installation, track alignment, and tamping. Crews have worked tirelessly to finish tie replacement work between the Dana Bridge and Community College station with current tie replacement work taking place at the North Station portal, which began on September 9. Tie replacement work involves crews operating hi-rail heavy equipment to remove old ties and install new ties. This critical tie replacement will remove three of the six slow zones that the T aims to address during the shutdown. Crews have already completed work to remove slow zones at Jackson Square and between Downtown Crossing and State. Finishing this important work and removing these slow zones allows for faster, more reliable service for Orange Line riders.
Orange Line riders should note that, when Orange Line trains begin running again on Monday, September 19, slow zones will continue to be in place temporarily for about one week where the work was performed. In the rail industry, after new track and ballast installation, and due to the amount of track area disturbed during work, it is a given that slow zones need to temporarily remain in place. This is because it takes time for the new track and ballast to “settle” as trains repeatedly run over these areas.
Additionally, 64 new Orange Line cars are now available when service resumes, supporting riders during peak commuting periods. This is up from 30 cars when the Orange Line shutdown first started. This is also over a full complement of new Orange Line cars ready to serve riders.
As of today’s reporting, 82% of the planned work has been completed.
Overall, teams have completed approximately 65% of rail replacement and 90% of track replacement. The full depth track replacement includes the ballast, ties, and rail.
About 99% of the special track work is complete. The special track renewal work includes replacing things like crossover areas.
About 99% of Cologne eggs and rail fastener work is finished near Tufts Medical Center station. Cologne eggs are the fasteners that allow crews to directly affix rail to the concrete pads, which are also utilized on certain parts of the Orange Line. The MBTA is in the process of installing the final five new eggs with 395 fully complete.
There has also been excellent progress on the ongoing signal testing at Oak Grove and Malden Center stations with about 84% of these signal upgrades complete.
For more information, visit mbta.com/BBT2022 or Orange Line Track and Signal Upgrades, or connect with the T on Twitter @MBTA, Facebook /TheMBTA, or Instagram@theMBTA.