BOSTON — Orange and Green Line trains were once again rolling down the tracks Monday morning after an unprecedented 30-day shutdown, a time during which crews were able to complete five years worth of repairs and upgrades on the aging rail system.
Regular service on both subway lines officially resumed in full at 5 a.m.
“A tremendous amount of choreography, coordination, and hard work has been accomplished during these 30 days, including over a dozen projects to replace rail, track, signals, rail fasteners, and more that would have taken the T five years of nights and weekends to accomplish,” MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said Sunday.
Accomplishments reported by the agency include replacing 12,320 feet of rail, 3,500 feet of full-depth track and 400 Cologne egg rail fasteners, which dampen vibrations and make for a more comfortable ride. Crews also finished all of the planned “special trackwork,” that officials said was required to make trips on the line faster.
Poftak said Monday that several “slow zones” will remain in place along the Orange Line for about a week to ensure everything is working properly.
Those that ride the Orange Line told Boston 25 that, despite initial skepticism, they were cautiously optimistic that the they will see a new and improved riding experience.
“It’s just sad that it took so long to do five years of work they had to do it all now,” said Andy Gordon. “I want to be hopeful.”
Marcia Abbott added, “No one really believed that it was only going to be 30 days. Really I think that the impact was as minimal as it could be. The bus service was great. Overall I don’t have a lot of complaints.”
The T also announced that nearly 70 new Orange Line cars are now available, up from 30 cars when the shutdown began.
The last shuttle bus of the nearly 200-strong fleet that had replaced Orange Line service departed at 1:00 a.m. Monday. Regular Orange Line service is set to resume at 5 a.m. Monday.
Additionally, after Commuter Rail service increased in the wake of the Orange Line shutdown, the MBTA announced they will add Oak Grove station to the to the Haverhill Commuter Line to give riders an additional commuting option. Nine train stops at Forest Hills station that were added during the Orange Line shutdown will also continue on the Franklin and Providence/Stoughton Commuter Rail Lines, ensuring two trains an hour in the weekday morning inbound peak at that station.
Green Line service between Union Square and the Government Center also resumed after the T suspended service in August to do preliminary work for the opening of the Medford Branch of the Green Line Extension in November.
Further improvements to the Green Line include adjusting an overhead wire at the East Cambridge Viaduct to allow trolleys to operate at the system’s designated 25-mph speed limit, new electrical equipment and new sound panels along the Union Branch track.
The MBTA’s next major repair work will be on the Green Line D branch.
Shutdowns for the Green Line’s D branch start in a week and are expected to continue through stretches of late September and October, according to the MBTA.
The MBTA also advised that slow zones will remain in place for about a week after service resumes.
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