First MBTA Orange Line train with CRRC-built cars enters service

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in the US has introduced the first Orange Line train into service featuring six new CRRC-built cars.

The public transportation agency will introduce a total of 152 cars that will replace and expand the current Orange Line fleet, which includes 120 units.

The new Orange Line cars are equipped with LED lighting, automatic passenger counters, closed-circuit cameras and video recording, as well as audio and visual passenger information to improve passenger convenience.

Furthermore, they feature more spacious interiors compared to the current fleet, as well as exhibit various accessibility improvements.

MBTA general manager Steve Poftak said: “These new Orange Line cars are tangible signs of progress towards building a better MBTA.  They are just one of many projects that will improve service on the Orange Line.”

In 2014, MBTA awarded a $1bn contract to CRRC to deliver 152 Orange Line and 252 new Red Line subway cars. All the Orange Line cars will be assembled and tested at CRRC’s Rail Car Assembly Facility in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The second Orange Line train with six new cars is expected to enter service later this year. All 152 cars are expected to enter passenger service by 2022.

Massachusetts Department of Transportation secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack said: “When the entire Orange Line fleet is replaced, it will be able to carry more passengers per hour than ever before, there will be shorter times between trains, and customers will have more confidence that they can depend on public transportation system to get them where they need to go.”

The replacement of railcars is part of the MBTA’s Orange Line Improvement Programme, which is financed by the agency’s $8bn five-year capital investment plan.

Besides introducing new rolling stock, the Orange Line improvement works include signal and other infrastructure upgrades.