MBTA removes 22 speed restrictions following Green Line D Branch track work

Dec. 26, 2023
Riders will now experience fewer unplanned service disruptions related to older tracks, older infrastructure, signal issues or power problems on the Green Line D Branch.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has successfully completed critical track work on the Green Line D Branch on time, which removed 22 safety-related speed restrictions – two more than were previously planned – and improved travel times for riders by about nine minutes.

MBTA reports crews accomplished this work with unencumbered access to track areas while Green Line train service was suspended on the D branch from Riverside to Kenmore from Dec. 11-20, 2023. 

Additionally, during the previous evening service, diversion between North Station and Union Square as well as Medford/Tufts, crews successfully completed work that allowed the removal of speed restrictions along the Lechmere Viaduct between Science Park and Lechmere in both directions. 

On Sunday, Dec. 17, HYM completed deconstruction activities at the private Government Center Garage project over MBTA facilities. Orange and Green Line trains were bypassing Haymarket station during HYM’s deconstruction activities. This bypass of Haymarket station has been lifted and normal subway services have resumed. While HYM continues to work to complete remaining deconstruction of the garage structure, there are no other disruptions to MBTA service anticipated.

“I’m proud of our workforce as we have addressed nearly six miles of track infrastructure along the D Branch, giving our riders a smoother, faster and more reliable trip," said MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng. “Through close collaboration between contractors and our Maintenance of Way team, the MBTA continues to demonstrate a new way of doing business and safely improving our infrastructure. We made a commitment to the public and I thank them for their patience as we eliminate slow zones and restore our facilities. We’re also pleased that HYM’s garage demolition above our facilities is complete. There is more work to do and with each successful step, we will ensure that any lessons learned will be incorporated into our planning and delivery of future work to streamline efforts and better serve the public.”

This important work means riders will experience a more reliable trip on the Green Line D branch with fewer unplanned service disruptions related to older tracks, older infrastructure, signal issues, or power problems. Riders will also be provided with a safer ride as a result of this state of good repair work. Crews were also able to maximize the unencumbered access to Green Line stations by enhancing and upgrading station amenities like new flooring and lighting, further improving the customer experience. Among this critical work:

  • Crews installed nearly 2,800 crossties, more than 4,750 feet of rail and 600 feet of full-depth track repairs. More than 48,800 feet of rack were also re-surfaced for a smoother ride
  • Ties and rail were also replaced within the Riverside Yard at complicated curved track areas
  • A critical switch on the eastbound track area at Fenway Station was regauged with its related infrastructure replaced
  • Cleaning and vegetation removal along right-of-way areas was performed 
  • The roof of the operator’s lobby was replaced at Riverside Station along with lighting and flooring upgrades, improving conditions for Green Line operators and personnel 
  • Contractor crews replaced deteriorate pavers with new ones at one end of the Woodland Station’s inbound platform, removing a significant trip hazard for riders
  • Overhead inspections were performed at Newton Center Station 
  • The Signal Department completed dozens of switch certifications, repaired four switch heaters, performed 11 ground tests and replaced 50 track circuits
  • Station lighting was replaced along the D Branch
  • Crews replaced the overhead catenary wire eastbound and westbound in the areas near Fenway Station
  • Crews replaced the accessible ramp at Newton Center Station, performed paint work at Brookline Hills, Brookline Village and Chestnut Hill Stations and improved station signage at various locations along the entire D Branch

As a result of this critical work, the newly installed track means some safety-related speed restrictions are no longer in place. A list of those restrictions can be found here.