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Capital Transformation Programs 2021 Year in Review

Updated on December 21, 2021

As 2021 comes to an end, we’re looking back at the milestones the Green Line, Orange Line, and Red Line Transformation teams reached this year, including four completed projects and one nearing completion.

We know that service diversions and construction can be inconvenient. We appreciate your understanding as we work to improve and expand our services.

Jump to a section below:

Building a Better T

As part of our $9.6 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


Green Line Transformation 2021 Accomplishments

This year we completed three large projects critical to Green Line infrastructure. Crews have also nearly completed the Lechmere Viaduct Rehabilitation project, which will restore the historic structure, increase train frequency, and improve schedule reliability.

Green Line Track and Intersection Upgrades (2021)

A newly completed intersection with a green line trolley crossing

Status: Complete

This August, we accomplished a year’s worth of work in just 27 days, one day ahead of schedule. With 24/7 access to the tracks, crews replaced more than 4,600 feet of track, rebuilt the Tremont intersection on Huntington Avenue, and improved ten pedestrian crosswalks along the E Branch. These renovations are improving safety, accessibility, and riders’ transit experience, and have let us lift speed restrictions for faster service.

From April to June, crews replaced 5,000 feet of track between Kenmore and Packard’s Corner, and upgraded two track crossings at Cummington Mall and St. Mary's Street.

The full access closures during this work allowed us to accomplish major improvements for our riders quickly, reducing the need for future B and E Branch closures.

Learn more about the Green Line Track and Intersection upgrades (2021)

Green Line B Branch Station Consolidation

Babcock Street platform under construction with an "accelerated timeline" infographic posted

Status: Complete

Early in 2021, we began consolidating four inaccessible B Branch stops into two fully accessible, brand-new stations—Babcock Street station and Amory Street station.

From April through June, crews were given 24/7 access to the site, and the new stations opened on November 15, 2021.

This project was completed months ahead of schedule and decreased travel time on the B Branch by one minute in each direction.

Learn more about the Green Line B Branch Station Consolidation project

Green Line D Track and Signal Replacement

Crews working on signals on some green line tracks

Status: Complete

Crews replaced 25,000 feet of track and 6.5 miles of signals on the Green Line D Branch.

This work, which began in June 2018 and wrapped up in December 2021, will improve maintenance turnaround times and reduce the risk of service interruptions.

With new tracks in place, we can now lift speed restrictions on some sections of the Green Line, saving two and a half minutes of travel time in each direction.

Learn more about the Green Line D Track and Signal Replacement

Lechmere Viaduct Rehabilitation

A test train crossing the Lechmere viaduct

Status: In Progress

Crews are rehabilitating and replacing track on the historic Lechmere Viaduct, which carries Green Line trains across the Charles River and into downtown Boston. These upgrades will increase train frequency and strengthen the structure of the viaduct while preserving its facade.

In May 2020, the bridge was closed to support work on both the Lechmere Viaduct Rehabilitation and the Green Line Extension (GLX) projects.

The Lechmere Viaduct is currently 99% complete and will be completed in early 2022.

Learn more about the Lechmere Viaduct Rehabilitation

View all projects


Orange Line Transformation 2021 Accomplishments

Throughout 2021, we accelerated work to return new Orange Line trains back to service. Construction at Wellington Yard and Maintenance Facility continues to progress, along with upgrades to traction power substations across the Orange Line.

Wellington Yard and Maintenance Facility

A photo of orange line trains at wellington yard next to a photo of crews working inside the train yard facility

Status: In Progress

Track reconstruction continues in Wellington Yard, and electricians have started installing the new power system, which will be used to move trains inside the maintenance building.

Crews continue to prepare the track for operation. This includes hooking up power to the third rail to move trains within the yard, installing heaters to keep ice from building up on components, and building the vehicle maintenance pits that allow mechanics to access the undersides of trains for repairs.

Learn more about Wellington Yard and Maintenance Facility

Orange Line Traction Power Substation Upgrades

A photo of electrical panels in a traction power substation

Status: In Progress

Crews are currently working at Oak Grove to upgrade the traction power substation with new facilities and equipment, improving remote operation of the substation.

Crews are installing a new communication circuit, and engineers began testing new software for the substations. The new software will integrate with the MBTA’s existing communications system, and the new circuit will allow engineers to perform live testing of this software.

Learn more about Orange Line Traction Power Substation Upgrades

View all projects


Red Line Transformation 2021 Accomplishments

The Red Line Test Track and Vehicle Testing Facility were completed in 2021, giving us flexibility and control over the testing process of the future Red Line fleet.

Work also continued at Cabot Yard and Maintenance Facility, and with the Red Line signal upgrade project.

Red Line Test Track and Vehicle Testing Facility

A photo of the inside of the new vehicle testing facility next to a photo of the test tracks outside

Status: Complete

The Red Line Test Track and Vehicle Testing Facility was completed this year. This will speed up the testing and commissioning process for the future Red Line fleet after assembly at the Springfield factory.

The new tracks and facility will be used to commission the first production vehicles before the end of the winter, and an increase of vehicle deliveries is expected throughout 2022.

Learn more about Red Line Test Track and Vehicle Testing Facility

Red Line Signal Upgrades

A worker continues to connect and wire the new signal equipment

Status: In Progress

The signal system is being modernized, which will allow us to reduce the time between trains and serve more riders.

Crews have started the installation, testing, and cutover (system transition) phases on the Red Line from Alewife to Harvard. The transition from the old to the new signal system is scheduled to take place next year.

Learn more about Red Line Signal Upgrades

Cabot Yard and Maintenance Facility

Crew members working outside cabot yard and inside the vehicle maintenance facility

Status: In Progress

Updates continue at the Cabot Yard and Vehicle Maintenance Facility as well to improve safety, reliability, and service capacity by enhancing our maintenance operations.

At Cabot Yard, crews are working on drainage and duct banks, and are returning upgraded tracks to regular operation. To allow continued operation of the yard, only two tracks are taken out of service at a time.

At the Cabot Maintenance Facility, crews continue work on the installation of HVAC, electrical, and roofing upgrades in preparation for winter weather.

Learn more about Cabot Yard and Maintenance Facility

View all projects

Building a Better T

As part of our $9.6 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

View all projects

View all projects

View all projects