The first of the long-awaited new MBTA Orange Line trains debuted on Wednesday afternoon. It performed three round trips, which drew plenty of excitement -- and derision around the city.
There was one train with six cars that left from Wellington Station exciting riders...and made its way back to the station in the afternoon...thus, teasing expectant riders.
Well hello beautiful pic.twitter.com/Y9LzgkZw0H
— Kenny Friedman (@futurekennysf) August 14, 2019
The new OL train finished its first three round trips this afternoon. Right now, it’s at Wellington where tests are being performed to make sure everything ran as expected. This will continue for a bit until given the green light for service at all times.
— MBTA (@MBTA) August 14, 2019
— Robert Kearns (@RobertKearns) August 14, 2019
There will be 152 new Orange Line cars when all is said and other cars are currently undergoing testing. Presently, there are 120 Orange Line cars, so the fleet is increasing, and that will increase the capacity of the line by 30,000 seats daily.
And when will those new Orange Line trains hit the tracks?
The first new Orange Line train in decades began running today, but if you wanted to catch it during the evening rush, I have bad news: the MBTA took it out of service for analysis after three round trips and didn't say when it'll start running all day. https://t.co/3ux1EJFGq1
— Chris Lisinski (@ChrisLisinski) August 14, 2019
But before that happens we've got to deal with the old Orange Line trains that have failed for several decades.
There's also quite a bit of politics when discussing the new Orange Line trains...
— MA Democratic Party (@massdems) August 14, 2019
And well before the tariff war, the MBTA contracted with a Chinese company to build the new trains. And today's launch was celebrated by China media.
New subway cars built by Chinese railway giant CRRC started first run in the US city of #Boston on Wed. The first 6 of 152 cars started running on the Orange Line of @MBTA in the morning and will increase the capacity of the line by 30,000 seats daily when fully in service. pic.twitter.com/lc2fbL0ZGF
— People's Daily, China (@PDChina) August 15, 2019
The new trains are part of a multi-year overhauling project of the Orange Line by the MBTA. The project includes new signal infrastructure, upgrades to tracks, an updated and expanded maintenance facility and an upgraded yard. This work is expected to be finished in 2022.