First Orange Line T Car Shells Arrive at CRRC Factory in Springfield

The first four uncompleted shells for MBTA Orange Line subway cars arrived at the CRRC MA plant in East Springfield this week.

Workers there are unpacking them and getting ready to begin assembly work, said spokeswoman Lydia Rivera. She expects work on completing the cars to begin in earnest sometime in the next month or so.

The cars arrived by truck in white wrapping after being shipped from China to the port of Philadelphia, Rivera said.

MBTA Unveils Prototype of New Orange Line Cars

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority yesterday unveiled images of a new prototype Orange Line subway car due to be brought into service starting in January 2019 to replace decades-old rail cars.

Chinese-owned rail company CRRC MA Corp. will manufacture 152 Orange Line and 123 Red Line cars at a new $85 million Springfield factory under a $728.9 million contract.

Replacing the cars is part of a planned overhaul of the two lines that includes improvements to aging tracks, signals and other infrastructure.

The two-thirds-scale mock-up of the new Orange Line car will be shipped here from China within seven weeks.

Upgrades Rolling In For T’s Orange Line

Gov. Charlie Baker, MBTA General Manager Luis Ramirez, state Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack and others got a tour of new Orange Line cars at the T’s Wellington Station yesterday.

The T has contracted for 152 new Orange Line cars and 252 Red Line cars to be rolled out in the coming years.

Assembly of Orange Line cars is underway with the first production cars having arrived at Chinese contractor CRRC’s Rail Car Assembly Facility in Springfield in April and completion slated for this December.

The new vehicles will incorporate a variety of new features to improve reliability, accessibility, communications, safety and comfort that include wider door openings, four access locations per car, improved lighting and automatic passenger counters.