MBTA removes seven safety speed restrictions on Orange Line

March 26, 2024
Crews were able to complete the work due to unencumbered access to track areas while Orange Line service was suspended between Jackson Square and North Station for four days from March 18 to March 21.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has completed critical track work on the Orange Line. Crews accomplished the critical work due to unencumbered access to track areas while Orange Line service was suspended between Jackson Square and North Station for four days from March 18 to March 21.   

“With each step, we are following through on our commitment to rebuild our tracks to give our riders the improved reliable trip they deserve. I’m proud of the dedicated workforce that worked in a short window of time while delivering on significant work along the Orange Line corridor,” said MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng. “There is much more to do and we are determined to make tough decisions to prioritize work while balancing the need to ensure the public has sufficient options to use mass transportation alternatives. We thank riders for their patience and understanding as we continue reinvesting in our infrastructure and make important progress to give them a system that they can rely on and be proud of.” 

Among the critical work: 

  • More than 5,000 feet of rail was installed. 
  • 27 Cologne egg rail fasteners were replaced. 
  • 63 rail “shoulders” were cored.  
  • Nearly 260 plates were installed. 
  • 10 switch timbers embedded in concrete were replaced by the Maintenance of Way (MOW) team. 
  • 500 feet of stringer cable was replaced. 
  • Nine third rail insulators were replaced by the MOW team. 
  • Critical switch and crossover work was accomplished. 
  • Tunnel inspections were performed between State and Haymarket. 
  • Structural overhead inspections of stations were accomplished at Chinatown, Massachusetts Avenue, Ruggles and Roxbury Crossing, with additional station entrance inspections performed. 
  • Concrete slab sections were replaced within the State station “Rainbow Corridor.” 
  • Station inspections were accomplished between Jackson Square and Downtown Crossing. 
  • Modernization work along the southwest corridor between Roxbury Crossing and Chinatown was performed, with concrete coring accomplished in eight locations.  
  • Security and emergency management enhancements were performed at Downtown Crossing. 
  • Crews performed visual surveys and measurements of tunnels, communication rooms, and emergency exits from Ruggles to State in support of the MBTA’s Statewide Radio System cable installation path. Crews also surveyed Station Communication rooms and public areas for radio equipment installations, as the crew progressed from station to station through the tunnels. 

A variety of other in-station work also took place along the Orange Line to further enhance the rider experience, including:  

  • Cleaning, sanding and painting wooden station benches 
  • Fire retardant installations 
  • Station painting 
  • Door repairs 
  • Yellow tactile edging repairs to platforms 
  • Flooring repairs to prevent tripping hazards 
  • Concrete repairs 
  • Stairway upgrades and repairs, including handrail repairs 
  • Waste receptacle replacements 
  • Powerwashing and cleaning work 
  • Installing/replacing station signage, including system maps 

The full list of removed safety-related speed restrictions can be found on MBTA’s website