MBTA removes six safety speed restrictions on Orange Line

July 5, 2024
The removal of the safety speed restrictions will result in a safer, more reliable trip for riders with fewer unplanned service disruptions.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) completed track work on the Orange Line while service was suspended between North Station and Oak Grove during the weekend of June 22 and 23 and between North Station and Wellington, Mass., June 24 through June 30. As a result of unencumbered access to track areas, crews accomplished important work to lift six safety-related speed restrictions, which is two more than were planned.

“We continue to accomplish long deferred maintenance, repairs and full-depth track replacement across our system, fulfilling our commitment to our riders and the communities we serve, delivering reliable, safe and quicker trips,” said MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng. “With each diversion, we maximize every opportunity to tackle this work, including station improvements, through better planning, scoping and coordination. I’m proud of our workforce and our contractors working side by side as we deliver these important upgrades and thank our riders for their continued patience while we work to deliver them a safer, smoother and more reliable trip.” 

This service change was in place to support critical work as part of Massachusetts Department of Transportation's (MassDOT) Maffa Way/Mystic Avenue Bridge Superstructure Replacements project, which will replace the two deteriorated bridge superstructures and improve bicycle, pedestrian and transit facilities. With service already suspended in these areas to support the MassDOT work, the MBTA made track and crossties upgrades that have allowed the removal of speed restrictions between Community College and Sullivan Square. Crews also maximized the outage by performing signal work and station amenity upgrades, including new lighting, painting, tiling, power washing and more. 

With unencumbered access to Orange Line stations, crews accomplished the following work:

  • Replaced more than 5,700 feet of running rail
  • Replaced nearly 3,200 crossties
  • Resurfaced and tamped 10,500 feet of track
  • Performed 657 feet of full depth track construction
  • Performed critical signal and switch modernization work between Oak Grove and Assembly
  • Accomplished stair repairs at Sullivan Square and Community College
  • Continued work to upgrade the station entrance at Community College
  • Security upgrades were accomplished at Assembly
  • Drainage repairs were performed at Sullivan Square
  • Cable repairs and inspections were performed throughout the shutdown area
  • Performed inspections, maintenance and repairs, including upgrading station lighting where needed

The MBTA plans to accomplish additional Orange Line work as part of the Track Improvement Program later this year, which is required to eliminate speed restrictions north of Wellington.

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

  • At Wellington, five damaged fencing poles were replaced along the right of way, painting improvements were performed and HVAC work took place.
  • At Assembly, a station gate was repaired. 
  • At Sullivan Square, platform repairs and cleaning work was performed.
  • At Community College, cleaning, debris removal and HVAC work took place.
  • System maps were replaced at North Station.
  • Signage was cleaned and/or replaced throughout the shutdown area.