Skip to main content

Red Line Transformation Program

A new Red Line trait at Alewife Station

2015 – 2022

As part of our $8 billion, 5-year capital investment program that began July 1, 2018, we're rebuilding the Red Line.

The Red Line Transformation Program 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, ensuring that an additional 65,000 riders per day can take the Red Line.

Why We're Doing This Work

The MBTA procured new Red and Orange Line vehicles in 2015. To accommodate these new vehicles, we also began a $1.2 billion Red/Orange Line Transformation Program to upgrade yards, maintenance facilities, test tracks, signals, and power systems.

To add capacity and improve reliability, we set goals for three-minute headways during rush hour and on-time performance 95% of the time or more. This requires additional improvements to stations, track, signals, and power systems.

Contracts have been awarded for the following projects as part of this initiative:

  • Red Line signal upgrades: Design started in 2019
  • New Red Line vehicles: Vehicle buildout began in Springfield, MA in 2019; first 6-car train in service in December 2020
  • Red Line test track: Scheduled to be complete winter/spring 2021
  • Cabot Yard Maintenance Facility: Work began in summer 2019
  • Codman Yard Rebuild & Expansion: Design started in May 2020
  • Alewife Crossover Improvements: Design completed, project in progress

Building a Better T

As part of our $8 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


Red Line Signal Upgrades

The train detection electronics and relays inside the signal bungalow at Forest Hills Station will be replaced.

The analog signal system on the Red Line will be fully replaced with new, digital infrastructure.

Contract awarded: November 2018
Projected completion: Summer 2023
Budget: $217 million (total value for Red Line and Orange Line signal upgrades)
Status: Design and manufacturing ongoing. Installation and testing started between Alewife and Harvard.


New Red Line Vehicles

New Red Line train at the Wollaston Station platform
The first new Red Line train went into service on December 30, 2020, pictured above at Wollaston Station.

The Red Line fleet will be entirely replaced with modern, more efficient, more spacious vehicles by 2024.

 Contract awarded: 2014
Projected completion: 2024
Budget: $1 billion (total value for Red Line and Orange Line new vehicles)
Status: One new train added to the fleet; more in production


Red Line Test Track

A new Red Line train vehicle on a loading track, shown from the tracks behind

The existing Red Line test track and third rail in South Boston were fully replaced in the summer of 2019 for faster, easier testing of new Red Line vehicles. Work on the new vehicle testing facility is expected to be completed winter/spring 2021.

Contract awarded: November 2017 
Projected completion: Winter/Spring 2021
Budget: $22 million
Status: Track ready for new Red Line vehicle testing July 2019


Cabot Yard and Maintenance Facility

Cabot Maintenance Facility: Planned improvements, including a maintenance platform, car wash, paint booth, wheel truing machine, and cranes. Rendering by designer on record.

Cabot Yard, the facility in South Boston where we store and care for Red Line vehicles each day, will be fully upgraded for safer, more efficient maintenance.

Contract awarded: August 2018
 Projected completion: Fall 2022
Budget: $214 million
Status: 24% complete as of January 2021


Codman Yard Expansion and Improvements

An aerial view of Codman Yard, where Red Line vehicles are stored each night

We’re upgrading the Codman Yard facility near Ashmont Station, where we store and maintain Red Line vehicles each day, to help accommodate the new and expanded Red Line Fleet and to bring it into a State of Good Repair for improved safety and reduced maintenance costs.

  • Design contract awarded: May 2020
  • Anticipated construction start: Spring 2022
  • Projected completion: Spring 2025
  • Budget: TBD – Design/Scope Development in Process
  • Status: 100% design phase

Alewife Crossover Improvements

We’re reconstructing the track crossing between Alewife and Davis stations on the Red Line to allow for increased operating speed. This will improve reliability and support our goal of three-minute headways.

  • Design contract awarded: July 2019
  • Anticipated construction start: Spring 2022
  • Projected completion: Fall 2022
  • Budget: $12M
  • Status: Long lead material procurement and inspection underway

Photo Gallery

Recent Updates

View all project updates

Contact Information

For all queries and comments related to Red Line Improvement Program, please contact RedOrangeLineProgram@MBTA.com.

Related Projects

Building a Better T

As part of our $8 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

Recent Updates

View all project updates