Red Line Improvement Program
Updated on July 3, 2019
About the Project
As part of our $8 billion, 5-year capital investment program that began July 1, 2018, we're rebuilding the Red Line.
This work, including signal upgrades, a new test track, and a new maintenance facility, will result in faster, more comfortable trips on the Red Line, as well as less crowding on platforms and in stations. It will also support the all-new, expanded Red Line fleet of 252 modern, spacious vehicles.
Contracts have been awarded for the following projects as part of this initiative:
- Red Line signal upgrades: Work scheduled to begin in 2019
- New Red Line vehicles: Vehicles ready for buildout in Springfield, MA in summer 2019
- Red Line test track: Scheduled to be complete in late 2019
- Cabot Yard Maintenance Facility: Work began in early 2019
Red Line Signal Upgrades
The analog signal system on the Red Line will be fully replaced with new, digital infrastructure.
Contract awarded: November 2018
Projected completion: January 2022
Budget: $217 million (total value for Red Line and Orange Line signal upgrades)
Status: Preliminary design is under review and development as of June 2019
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 longer lifespan for the entire system
- More efficient communications about system diagnostics
New Red Line Vehicles
The Red Line fleet will be entirely replaced with modern, more efficient, more spacious vehicles by 2023.
Contract awarded: 2014
Projected completion: 2023
Budget: $1 billion (total value for Red Line and Orange Line new vehicles)
Status: The first 2 car shells will be shipped to Springfield, MA for a complete buildout in the summer of 2019
The 252 new Red Line vehicles (including 34 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
Red Line Test Track
The existing Red Line test track and third rail will be fully replaced by 2019 for easier, faster testing of new Red Line vehicles.
Contract awarded: November 2017
Projected completion: Fall 2019
Budget: $21 million
Status: 61% completed as of June 2019
We will test and commission new Red Line vehicles on an all new test track. With these new tracks, we can test vehicles more efficiently before they’re sent into service.
The existing test track and third rail will be fully replaced, alongside an all-new:
- Power substation
- Vehicle testing facility
- Access track with direct connection to Cabot Yard
Cabot Yard Maintenance Facility
Cabot Yard, the facility where we store and care for Red Line vehicles each day, will be fully replaced for safer, more efficient maintenance.
Contract awarded: August 2018
Projected completion: January 2022
Budget: $213 million
Status: 6% complete as of June 2019
The all-new facility will help crews move trains through the yard more easily, decreasing the time needed for maintenance. It will feature:
- All new rail yard tracks, power system, and signals
- New diagnostics equipment
- A canopy for outdoor maintenance work
- An efficient, environmentally-friendly car wash
- Standardized vehicle turnouts and crossovers for easier maintenance
For all queries and comments related to Red Line Improvement Program, please contact RedOrangeLineProgram@MBTA.com.