Building A Better T: Second of 6 Weekend Orange Line Diversions Starts Friday Night
Posted on October 10, 2019
No service between Sullivan Square and Tufts Medical Center for 5 more consecutive weekends beginning at 8:45 PM on Fridays and lasting through the end of service on Sundays
Bus shuttles will be provided between Sullivan Square and Haymarket only; parallel Green Line service available for rest of diversion
Work being done as part of the 2019 Capital Acceleration Plan
Today the MBTA reminded customers that weekend Orange Line service between Sullivan Square and Tufts Medical Center Stations will again be suspended this weekend beginning at 8:45 PM on Friday through to the start of service on Monday, October 14.
This suspension of Orange Line service is the second of 6 consecutive weekends.
Capital Acceleration Plan
The suspensions in service are part of the MBTA’s 2019 Capital Acceleration Plan, which allow the MBTA to expedite upgrades to core infrastructure and to perform maintenance activities, including cleaning and painting at stations.
During last weekend’s Orange Line closure, crews completed the following:
- The replacement of 210 feet of track, improving reliability and reducing service disruptions
- The installation of 8,000 feet of signal cabling and 233 feet of signal wiring
- Station brightening work including cleaning, washing, and re-painting of walls, floors, and ceilings on platforms areas at Chinatown (northbound/Oak Grove-bound), State (southbound/Forest Hills-bound), and Haymarket (southbound/Forest Hills-bound)
- Treading replaced on the Summer Street stairway at Downtown Crossing
- Replaced 36 Lexan panels at platform passenger enclosures at Community College
- The replacement of flooring within elevators at Chinatown
- The complete overhaul of 5 faregates at Chinatown (northbound/Oak Grove-bound)
- Leak repairs at Haymarket and State as well as concrete work at Haymarket, State, and within the southbound/Forest Hills-bound tunnel between North Station and Haymarket
- Tunnel inspections and utility surveys between Chinatown and Downtown Crossing
Accelerated work will continue to take place on the Orange Line over the next 5 weekends, with a focus on improvements at Downtown Crossing, Haymarket, and State. Last weekend’s shutdown and the 5 more to come allow the MBTA to complete work on the Orange Line level of these stations almost a year earlier than previously planned.
“I want to thank our customers for their patience as we continue to make progress on our efforts to build a better T,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “While we understand these shutdowns are inconvenient, they give us the opportunity to accelerate necessary improvements to improve the safety and reliability of the T for the long term.”
Weekend Service Changes
During these weekend shutdowns, bus shuttles will be provided between Sullivan Square and Haymarket Stations. There will be no shuttle bus service to Orange Line stations at State, Downtown Crossing, and Chinatown with customers asked to travel via parallel downtown Green Line service.
The upcoming weekends in which Orange Line service is suspended between Sullivan Square and Tufts Medical Center are:
- 8:45 PM on October 11 through October 13
- 8:45 PM on October 18 through October 20
- 8:45 PM on October 25 through October 27
- 8:45 PM on November 1 through November 3
- 8:45 PM on November 8 through November 10
Customers heading northbound are instead asked to take the Orange Line to Back Bay, transfer to the Green Line at nearby Copley Station (0.2 miles), take the Green Line to Haymarket, board shuttle buses to Sullivan Square, and transfer to the Orange Line.
Customers heading southbound are instead asked to take the Orange Line to Sullivan Square, board the shuttle to Haymarket, transfer to the Green Line, take the Green Line to Copley, and transfer to the Orange Line at nearby Back Bay (0.2 miles).
Customers are also encouraged to utilize parallel Green Line service in the downtown area at North Station, Haymarket, Government Center, Park Street, Boylston, Arlington, and Copley Stations.
Customers with disabilities should see MBTA personnel in order to take an accessible van from Copley, Back Bay, Tufts Medical Center, and Haymarket to any Orange Line station without train service as well as Copley, Back Bay, Tufts Medical Center, and Sullivan Square.
More Details on the Work
MBTA crews and contractors continue to remove and completely replace the pit track in closed Orange Line stations during these weekend closures, which would not be accessible to work crews without a complete shutdown. The Orange Line pit track in these areas is 30 to 40 years old and, while safe to travel over at reduced speeds, is also ready to be replaced.
The broad limits between Tufts Medical Center and Sullivan Square are necessary as these areas are “portal” access points for work crews to load in construction equipment and materials into the underground portions of the Orange Line. The broad closure limits also give the MBTA a valuable work window to perform repairs to platform edges, escalators, elevators, stairways, and fare equipment; perform track and power maintenance in the tunnels between stations, including the complete replacement of third rail insulators and third rail electrical connections; and perform tunnel debris clean-up work, reducing the risk of smoke and fire hazards.