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Orange Line Maintenance Work

A crew works on the Orange Line in Medford

The Orange Line travels 11 miles from Oak Grove to Forest Hills, with 2 tracks for most of its length, and a third from Wellington to just past Community College. The tracks are just a piece of the complex system that supports trains weighing hundreds of thousands of pounds—and 209,000 rider trips a day.

We're working to keep the tracks in good repair, and support new Orange Line vehicles coming into service.

Building a Better T

As part of our $8 billion, 5-year capital investment plan, we're renovating stations, modernizing fare collection systems, upgrading services for our buses, subways, and ferries, and improving the accessibility of the entire system.

Learn more

What work will you be doing?

The work—part of the MBTA’s $8 billion, 5-year capital improvement program—includes:

  • Replacing 2,000 rail ties 
  • Replacing 4,000 feet of rail
  • Surfacing and lining work, making sure the tracks are level and secure
  • Repairs to Adams and Charles Street bridges
A crew member vacuums up ballast before replacing rail ties on the Orange Line in Medford.
A crew member vacuums up ballast before excavating old rail ties and replacing them with new ties.

In late July 2019, we installed 740 feet of new rail between Oak Grove and Wellington. The new rail gives riders a quieter, smoother ride—it’s continuous rail, and reduces that “clickety-clack” sound you hear when riding over jointed sections of rail. Continuous rail also increases safety and reliability.

How is rail installed?

  • Sticks of rail, which are 39 feet long and weigh about 1,500 pounds each, are placed in a line, and then welded to each other to create a continuous welded rail section, called a “stringer.” 
  • Stringers are installed using special equipment. Much of the new rail being installed will replace existing stringers that have worn down over the years, as well as jointed rail. 

How will this work affect me?

Our crews need safe and uninterrupted access to the tracks to get this work done. Starting in June 2019 and through the end of the year, we’ll have shuttle service on some evenings and weekends. 

Learn more about upcoming shuttles