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Potential Fix For New Orange Line Trains In Testing Later This Week

3:43 PM EST on December 18, 2019

The MBTA’s first new Orange Line train in over 30 years began serving riders on the morning of Wednesday, August 14, 2019. More trains are expected to enter service every few weeks until the entire fleet is replaced in 2022. Photo courtesy of the MBTA.

The Orange Line's new train cars have been out of service for a full month now, but an MBTA official says that a potential solution has been installed on one of the new trains and will be tested over the next few days.

Responding to an inquiry this morning, MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo wrote that "a new Orange Line car has been outfitted with the potential 'fix,' and vehicle engineers will test it on the mainline during non-service hours later this week."

It's now been 30 days since the MBTA's two new Orange Line trains, which started carrying riders this summer, were pulled from service after MTBA workers detected an "uncommon noise" coming from the underside of the new vehicles in November.

Engineers later pinpointed the source of the noise as a wear pad at the location where the trains’ wheel trucks are attached to the body of each car.

“I’ve repeatedly emphasized to our vehicle engineering team that safety and a durable long life for these cars is a top priority,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak in a press conference earlier this month. “So by catching this issue now we’re able to fix it and not have it occur on the remaining cars… we want to be able to fix this problem now at the earliest stages.”

Once the problem is resolved, MBTA hopes to introduce additional new Orange Line trains every few weeks until the Orange Line has an all-new fleet of 152 cars by 2022. Meanwhile, the agency has taken delivery on the first of 252 new Red Line train cars that have been ordered from the same manufacturer: at a press event last month, T officials said that those new trains could begin rolling next spring.

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