Orange Line Improvement Program
2015 – 2021
As part of our $8 billion, 5-year capital investment program that began July 1, 2018, we're rebuilding the Orange Line.
This work, including new signal infrastructure, upgrades to our test track, an expanded and upgraded maintenance facility, and an upgraded yard, will result in faster, more comfortable trips on the Orange Line, as well as less crowding on platforms and in stations.
It will also support the all-new, expanded Orange Line fleet of 152 modern, spacious vehicles, ensuring that an additional 30,000 riders per day can take the Orange Line.
Contracts have been awarded for the following projects as part of this initiative:
- Orange Line signal upgrades: Design started in 2019
- New Orange Line vehicles: First set of new cars in service August 14, 2019; more in testing
- Wellington Yard and Maintenance Facility updates: Work started in summer 2017 for the maintenance facility, and spring 2018 for Wellington Yard
The following projects are now complete:
- Rehabilitation of Orange Line test track: Completed summer 2018
- Storage track expansions at Wellington Yard: Completed spring 2019
Orange Line Signal Upgrades
The analog signal system on the Orange Line will be fully replaced with new, digital infrastructure.
- Contract awarded: November 2018
- Projected completion: May 2022
- Budget: $217 million (total value for Orange Line and Red Line signal upgrades)
- Status: Preliminary design is under review and development as of June 2019
Our signal system is made up of equipment and cables that run along the track, collecting and sending data about train locations to our operations teams.
Digital signals require less manual labor than the current analog system, reducing the time and money required for maintenance. In turn, this will result in:
- Improved service reliability
- A renewed lifespan for the entire system
- More efficient communications about system diagnostics
New Orange Line Vehicles
The Orange Line fleet will be entirely replaced with modern, more efficient, more spacious vehicles by 2022.
- Contract awarded: 2014
- Projected completion: 2022
- Budget: $1 billion (total value for Orange Line and Red Line new vehicles)
- Status: First set of new cars in service August 14, 2019; more in testing
The 152 new Orange Line vehicles (including 32 more cars added to the fleet) will feature:
- More spacious interiors, wider doors, more handrails, and LED lighting systems for your comfort
- 2 more accessibility areas on each vehicle
- Modern visual and audio communications systems, including new audio and visual door open and close warnings
- Onboard diagnostics for operators and maintenance staff
Wellington Yard and Maintenance Facility Updates
Wellington Yard, the facility where we store and care for Orange Line vehicles each day, will be updated for safer, more efficient maintenance.
Wellington Yard Rebuild
- Contract awarded: 2018
- Projected completion: Spring 2021
- Budget: $102 million
- Status: 11% complete as of June 2019
Wellington Maintenance Facility
- Contract awarded: 2017
- Projected completion: Spring 2021
- Budget: $76 million
- Status: 56% complete as of June 2019
The upgraded and expanded Wellington Yard will make it easier for crews to move vehicles around the facility, decreasing the time needed for maintenance. It will feature:
- All new tracks, power systems, and signals
- Expanded vehicle storage space
- More space for vehicle maintenance
- New diagnostics equipment
- An efficient, environmentally friendly car wash
For all queries and comments related to Orange Line Improvement Program, please contact RedOrangeLineProgram@MBTA.com.