Video: Watch the Green Line’s E Branch Reconstruction in 45 Seconds

Courtesy of the MBTA.
Courtesy of the MBTA.

Trains on the Green Line’s E Branch in Mission Hill and Longwood are running again after the MBTA completed an accelerated program of track replacements and station repairs over the course of August.

The 28-day closure on the E branch allowed workers to replace three miles’ worth of track in a compressed construction timeline: the T estimates that if the same work had been done piecemeal during weekend and nighttime closures, it could have taken a full year to get finished.

The compressed timeline also allowed the MBTA to showcase the work in a time-lapse video:

“While ridership has been reduced during the pandemic, the MBTA has had a busy spring and summer making accessibility, infrastructure, customer experience, and safety improvements,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak at a press event celebrating the project’s completion on Tuesday. “This work follows additional expedited work on the C Branch during a twenty-eight-day shutdown in July and a nine-day shutdown in June, two nine-day shutdowns on the D Branch in June, a fourteen-day shutdown on the Red Line in June, and a fourteen-day shutdown on the Blue Line in May.”

On a less upbeat note, the completion of work on the E Branch also means that cars and trucks are free to block Green Line trains again on the kilometer-long section of Huntington Ave. between Brigham Circle and Heath Street, where tracks are still not separated from car traffic in the street’s middle lanes (that mixed-traffic, middle-of-the-road design also prevents the four stations on that section from being ADA-accessible, since there are no platforms).

We’ve put an inquiry to the MBTA and the City of Boston to ask whether this transit-heavy street is under consideration for bus- and train-only lanes – we’ll let you know what we find out.



Worcester City Hall and the newly rebuilt Main Street, pictured in December 2020.

It’s Worcester Week on StreetsblogMASS

We’re focusing our coverage this week on Worcester, New England’s second-biggest city. After decades of destructive urban renewal schemes, Worcester can be a challenging place to get around for people who don’t own a car. Compared to the rest of Massachusetts, Worcester has higher-than-average rates of injury-causing crashes, and lower rates of transit ridership. Which […]
Batteries can't fix this: a midday traffic jam on I-93 in downtown Boston.

Guest Column: Electric Cars Won’t Save Us

To meet its climate goals, Massachusetts will need to eliminate gasoline-powered vehicles from the state’s roadways within the next 25 years. But the Commonwealth’s new decarbonization roadmap aims to accomplish this not with improvements to transit and safer streets, but with widespread subsidies for new electric vehicles. Massachusetts is home to many of the world’s […]