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Building a Better T: Second of 4 Winter 2020 Weekend Orange Line Diversions Begins This Weekend

Posted on January 23, 2020

Shuttle buses provided between Sullivan Square and Haymarket only; no service between Sullivan and Tufts Medical Center 

Customers urged to use parallel Green Line service through downtown Boston

Diagram of the Orange and Green lines. No train service between Sullivan Square and Tufts Medical Center. Shuttles run between Sullivan Square and Haymarket, where you can switch to the Green Line. Three Orange Line stations are not served at all (by either train or shuttle): State, Downtown Crossing, and Chinatown.

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, January 27.

“This past fall, we made major progress in our efforts to build a better, safer, more reliable T,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “Continuing these weekend diversions in 2020 will allow us to maintain that progress while we look to take a more aggressive approach later on this year.” 

This suspension of Orange Line service is the second of 4 weekends scheduled in 2020 in order to replace Orange Line station track in both directions at North Station and to perform additional track work at State, Haymarket, and Downtown Crossing Stations. This weekend work builds off work that was performed during last fall’s weekend diversions as part of the 2019 Capital Acceleration Plan

During last weekend’s Orange Line closure, crews completed the following:

  • The replacement of a combined total of approximately 260 feet of track at State and Haymarket; 
  • The beginning of the replacement of fare equipment at North Station; 
  • The beginning of work to replace the yellow tactile platform edging as well as platform maintenance/repair work on both the northbound and southbound sides of Chinatown and Downtown Crossing Stations.

Accelerated work will continue to take place on the Orange Line this weekend with a focus on track replacement work on the northbound side of North Station as well as additional improvements at North Station, Downtown Crossing, Haymarket, and State. These closures are expected to result in approximately 840 feet of full-depth track replacement at North Station and will allow for the replacement of an additional 140 feet of track at State as well as 200 more feet of track at Haymarket. When complete, these weekend shutdowns allow the MBTA to complete work on the Orange Line level of these stations almost a year earlier than previously planned.
During these weekends in which service is suspended between Sullivan Square and Tufts Medical Center, shuttle buses are provided between Sullivan Square and Haymarket Stations only. 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. These weekends are:

  • 8:45 PM on January 24 through January 26
  • 8:45 PM on February 7 through February 9
  • 8:45 PM on February 14 through February 16

Following track work, the MBTA typically implements speed restrictions as a safety precaution, and customers should expect these to last for several days while the T monitors the proper settlement and consolidation of new track and stone ballast. Speed restrictions are lifted once engineers have confirmed proper settlement has occurred.

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