State and city officials, transportation leaders and the general public got a first look at the MBTA’s new Red Line subway car on display at Boston City Hall Plaza this week.
Governor Charlie Baker, Massachusetts Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack and MBTA General Manager Luis Ramírez joined officials from CRRC, that Chinese company that is manufacturing the subway cars at its plant in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Governor Baker said, “Our administration is investing over $1 billion to completely replace the fleets of the Red and Orange Lines, in addition to upgrading track and signals throughout the system to support the new cars. Through all of these investments in the core infrastructure of the MBTA, we will be able to deliver a more reliable system for our customers.”
The Red Line mock-up is on display at City Hall Plaza on Wednesday, August 15, and Thursday, August 16, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. The mock-up is two-thirds the actual size of the new cars and showcases amenities and aesthetics to be included within the new cars. MBTA staff traveled to Changchun, China, in March 2018 to evaluate the Red Line mock-up car, which was also used by the MBTA and CRRC MA engineers during the vehicle development process.
Lt. Governor Polito said, the new Red Line cars “will provide increased capacity and upgraded technology, offering MBTA customers a more comfortable ride. Unveiling this mock-up is an important milestone, and we encourage members of the public to come to City Hall Plaza and tour the new cars.”
CRRC MA President Chuanhe Zhou said, “We embrace the opportunity to partner with the MBTA on that signature project. Together we have reached yet another milestone in introducing new subway cars to customers and visitors to Boston. We look forward to continued success and a prosperous partnership.”
MassDOT Secretary Pollack said the MBTA “is investing nearly $2 billion in the Red Line as part of the Red Line/Orange Line Improvement Program, which includes procuring these new Red Line vehicles. The upcoming new fleet for the Red Line, coupled with new and improved track, signals, and other core infrastructure upgrades translates to a better, more reliable service for MBTA customers.”
MBTA General Manager Ramírez said, “This mock-up is just a preview of what’s to come for Red Line riders. Increased capacity, technology-enhanced signage, and accessibility improvements are just some of the advanced features included on the new cars, giving our Red Line customers a more reliable ride.”
In 2014, the MBTA awarded CRRC MA the contract to design and manufacture the new Orange and Red Line subway cars with the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board voting in December 2016 to replace the entirety of the Red Line fleet with new cars. New, modern vehicles, including 152 Orange and 252 Red line subway cars, comprised of the same make and model have multiple operational and maintenance benefits, and customers will be provided with more trains that run more frequently and reliably.
With feedback from the public, the vehicle’s modern design boasts increased capacity, accessibility improvements, technology-enhanced signage, and emergency intercom units. The new cars have the latest propulsion and braking systems, allowing the achievement of a three-minute headway target, reducing customer wait times.
A standardized Red Line fleet comprised of entirely new cars also allows the MBTA to implement a life-cycle maintenance program, resulting in better maintained vehicles, fewer disabled trains causing service disruptions, and an extended service life of at least thirty years. Accessibility improvements include wider door openings for easier boarding, minimized gaps between platform and car door, dedicated accessibility areas, and technology advanced audio and visual passenger information.
Total value of the New Vehicle Procurement Program is nearly $1,010 million. The total value of the Red Line/Orange Line Improvement Program as a whole, which includes vehicle procurement, infrastructure improvements, signal upgrades, and state of good repair projects, is $1,982.03 million.