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MBTA unveils first pair of new Orange Line subway cars

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MBTA unveils first pair of new Orange Line subway cars

CRRC MA produced the first two Orange Line vehicles.
Photo – MBTA

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday joined officials from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), Massachusetts Department of Transportation and CRRC MA Corp. to mark the completion of the first pair of subway vehicles for MBTA’s Orange Line.

CRRC MA is producing 404 subway cars for the MBTA, including 152 for the Orange Line and 252 for the Red Line, per a $566 million contract signed in 2014 and an option exercised by the authority in late 2016. The cars will be assembled and tested at CRRC MA’s facility in Springfield, Massachusetts.

“Since taking office, our administration has prioritized improving the core infrastructure of the MBTA and over the next five years, the MBTA is planning to invest $8 billion to continue these efforts” said Baker in a press release. “By completely replacing the fleets of the Orange and Red lines, and significantly upgrading signals, the MBTA will improve reliability for riders.”

The cars will feature stainless-steel car shells that incorporate laser-welding technology for a better exterior finish; crash energy management for enhanced customer and operator safety; LCD monitors for customer information; and train-to-wayside communications via a wireless network for monitoring and detection of potential maintenance needs, MBTA officials said.

“The production of new rail cars based on state-of-the-art designs gives the authority the opportunity to bring the MBTA into a new era of service reliability that our customers deserve,” said MBTA Interim General Manager Jeffrey Gonneville. “While we acknowledge we still have a ways to go before our fleets are completely replaced, today marks the start of that process that will lead to major improvements for our customers.”

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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