The MBTA is discussing a 30-day shutdown of the entire Orange Line, which could happen in around three weeks, according to multiple sources, one of whom said the move would be “pretty unprecedented”.
The stop would allow construction, which would likely be tied to replacing lanes and resolving speed restrictions, a source said.
A spokesperson for MBTA has not confirmed the impending service hiatus, but a last-minute board meeting will be held Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. to discuss a possible contract with A Yankee Line, Inc., to “MBTA Orange Line and part of Green Line replacement shuttle service.”
“As the T has previously said, it is considering additional service diversions to expedite construction,” T spokesman Joe Pesaturo said. “This contract that will be presented to the Board of Directors tomorrow is for buses that would support these efforts. The T is finalizing details and will be sharing more information with riders very soon.
According to a media advisory, Governor Charlie Baker will join MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler and MBTA Managing Director Steve Poftak at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at Wellington Station in Medford “to provide an update regarding the accelerated MBTA infrastructure upgrades to improve service, safety and reliability for riders.
The 120-year-old rapid transit line serves the communities of Malden, Medford, Somerville and Boston.
A piece of construction equipment derailed on the Red Line near Quincy Center, damaging third rail and forcing shuttles to replace service during the Tuesday morning run.
Pesaturo said the derailment happened around 1:20 a.m. The equipment was back on track around 3:45 a.m., but the morning run was halted while repairs were made to the third rail.
No injuries were reported and repairs were completed around 5 a.m.
“Twenty-five shuttles provided alternate service while power was restored, and test trains were operating in the area,” Pesaturo said. “As of 6:20 a.m., Red Line service had been restored.
Delayed critical track maintenance was one of four areas MBTA was ordered to address immediately in June as part of the Federal Transit Administration’s safety management inspection, which found track defects had resulted in multiple derailments since last year.
Last week, the FTA ordered MBTA to undergo an immediate “safety shutdown”, which began at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, due to the agency’s ongoing problem with runaway trains, the most recent of which was occurred on July 25, when a train rolled over the red line at Braintree station.
In a statement on Tuesday, the MBTA highlighted work that began this week to “improve safety and reliability on the Red Line,” which will result in shuttles replacing Braintree branch service in the evenings for two consecutive weeks. , from Monday to Thursday.
Herald reporter Sean Philip Cotter contributed to this report.