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MBTA Successfully Completes Expedited Critical Track Work on Green Line D Branch, Removes 22 Speed Restrictions

Posted on December 21, 2023

Updated December 22, 2023.

Speed restrictions also removed on Green Line’s Lechmere Viaduct last week.

Haymarket Station also reopened to riders one day early following private Government Center Garage work.

Crews performed track work on the Green Line D branch
Crews performed track work on the Green Line D branch.

The MBTA today announced the successful and on-time completion of critical track work on the Green Line D branch, which removed 22 safety-related speed restrictions – two more than were previously planned – and improved travel times for riders by about nine minutes. Crews accomplished this work with unencumbered access to track areas while Green Line train service was suspended on the D branch from Riverside to Kenmore from December 11-20, 2023. 

Additionally, during last week’s evening service diversion between North Station and Union Square as well as Medford/Tufts, crews successfully completed work that allowed the removal of speed restrictions along the Lechmere Viaduct between Science Park and Lechmere in both directions. 

On Sunday, December 17, HYM completed deconstruction activities at the private Government Center Garage project over MBTA facilities. Orange and Green Line trains were bypassing Haymarket station during HYM’s deconstruction activities. This bypass of Haymarket station has been lifted and normal subway services have resumed. While HYM continues to work to complete remaining deconstruction of the garage structure, there are no other disruptions to MBTA service anticipated.

“I’m proud of our workforce as we have addressed nearly six miles of track infrastructure along the D Branch, giving our riders a smoother, faster, and more reliable trip. Through close collaboration between contractors and our Maintenance of Way team, the MBTA continues to demonstrate a new way of doing business and safely improving our infrastructure. We made a commitment to the public and I thank them for their patience as we eliminate slow zones and restore our facilities. We’re also pleased that HYM’s garage demolition above our facilities is complete,” said MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng. “There is more work to do, and with each successful step, we will ensure that any lessons learned will be incorporated into our planning and delivery of future work to streamline efforts and better serve the public.”

Crews performing track work on the D branch.
Crews performing track work on the D branch.

This important work means riders will experience a more reliable trip on the Green Line D branch with fewer unplanned service disruptions related to older tracks, older infrastructure, signal issues, or power problems. Riders will also be provided with a safer ride as a result of this state of good repair work. Crews were also able to maximize the unencumbered access to Green Line stations by enhancing and upgrading station amenities like new flooring and lighting, further improving the customer experience. Among this critical work:

  • Crews installed nearly 2,800 ties, over 4,750 feet of rail, and 600 feet of full-depth track repairs. Over 48,800 feet of track were also re-surfaced for a smoother ride. 
  • Ties and rail were also replaced within the Riverside Yard at complicated curved track areas. 
  • A critical switch on the eastbound track area at Fenway Station was regauged with its related infrastructure replaced. 
  • Cleaning and vegetation removal along right-of-way areas was performed. 
  • The roof of the operator’s lobby was replaced at Riverside Station along with lighting and flooring upgrades, improving conditions for Green Line operators and personnel. 
  • Contractor crews replaced deteriorate pavers with new ones at one end of the Woodland Station’s inbound platform, removing a significant trip hazard for riders.
  • Overhead inspections were performed at Newton Center Station. 
  • The Signal Department completed dozens of switch certifications, repaired four switch heaters, performed 11 ground tests, and replaced 50 track circuits. 
  • Station lighting was replaced along the D branch. 
  • Crews replaced the overhead catenary wire eastbound and westbound in the areas near Fenway Station. 
  • Crews replaced the accessible ramp at Newton Center Station, performed paint work at Brookline Hills, Brookline Village, and Chestnut Hill Stations, and improved station signage at various locations along the entire D branch.

As a result of this critical work, the newly installed track means the following safety-related speed restrictions are no longer in place:

Speed Restriction NumberRestriction Information and LocationStatus
Speed Restriction Number1.    550514Restriction Information and LocationWestbound between Waban and WoodlandStatusRemoved
Speed Restriction Number2.    550516Restriction Information and LocationEastbound between Woodland and WabanStatusRemoved
Speed Restriction Number3.    524335Restriction Information and LocationEastbound between Newton Highland and Newton CentreStatusRemoved
Speed Restriction Number4.    524530Restriction Information and LocationEastbound between Longwood and FenwayStatusRemoved
Speed Restriction Number5.    524443Restriction Information and LocationWestbound between Fenway and LongwoodStatusRemoved
Speed Restriction Number6.    524239Restriction Information and LocationEastbound between Beaconsfield and Brookline HillsStatusRemoved
Speed Restriction Number7.    524369Restriction Information and LocationEastbound between Brookline Village and LongwoodStatusRemoved
Speed Restriction Number8.    524085Restriction Information and LocationWestbound between Woodland and RiversideStatusRemoved
Speed Restriction Number9.    524232Restriction Information and LocationWestbound between Brookline Hills and BeaconsfieldStatusRemoved
Speed Restriction Number10.    524165Restriction Information and LocationWestbound between Reservoir and Chestnut HillStatusRemoved
Speed Restriction Number11.    524184Restriction Information and LocationWestbound between Newton Highland and EliotStatusRemoved
Speed Restriction Number12.    525856Restriction Information and LocationWestbound between Fenway and LongwoodStatusRemoved
Speed Restriction Number13.    524514Restriction Information and LocationWestbound between Kenmore and FenwayStatusRemoved
Speed Restriction Number14.    524169Restriction Information and LocationEastbound between Chestnut Hill and ReservoirStatusRemoved
Speed Restriction Number15.    524172Restriction Information and LocationEastbound between Newton Centre and Chestnut HillStatusRemoved
Speed Restriction Number16.    524183Restriction Information and LocationEastbound between Eliot and Newton HighlandsStatusRemoved
Speed Restriction Number17.    524094Restriction Information and LocationEastbound between Woodland and WabanStatusRemoved
Speed Restriction Number18.    549720Restriction Information and LocationWestbound between Chestnut Hill and Newton CentreStatusRemoved
Speed Restriction Number19.    568929Restriction Information and LocationEastbound between Riverside and WoodlandStatusRemoved
Speed Restriction Number20.    549751Restriction Information and LocationEastbound between Fenway and KenmoreStatusRemoved
Speed Restriction Number21.    000122Restriction Information and LocationDeparting WoodlandStatusRemoved
Speed Restriction Number22.    000123Restriction Information and LocationApproaching LongwoodStatusRemoved
Crews performing critical track work.
Crews performing critical track work.

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