Orange Line Car Removed From I-495 in Chelmsford

The MBTA Orange Line train was on a trailer that dislodged from a truck in Chelmsford on Tuesday night, and couldn't be moved through the morning commute

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A disabled truck carrying a new Orange Line train car was removed Wednesday evening from Interstate 495 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.

There were traffic diversions starting during the evening commute as crews worked to remove the truck.



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The Massachusetts Department of Transportation initially said Wednesday morning that there might need to be a short-term full closure and additional lane restrictions on I-495 northbound after the morning commute so the train car could be towed away. The left and center lanes were open to traffic.

Crews began the removal of the truck around 5 p.m. Authorities initially said they were hoping for the work to be done around 5 a.m., but it was finished Wednesday night.

The MBTA Orange Line train was on a trailer that dislodged from a truck in Chelmsford on Tuesday night, and couldn't be moved through the morning commute.

The incident occurred just after 10 p.m. Tuesday when the trailer dislodged on a tractor-trailer hauling one of the new Orange Line cars. That left the train on the northbound side of the highway before Route 3.

No one was injured in the incident, state police said.

The MBTA had said previously that lane closures were expected to be in place until a heavy-duty tow truck could move the train and the trailer from the highway, according to police.

"A trucking company, hired by CRRC MA to ship new subway cars from Springfield to the MBTA, experienced a problem tonight while delivering a single Orange Line car," MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo said in a statement. "On a separate truck tonight, another new Orange Line car was successfully delivered to the MBTA's Wellington facility."

Pesaturo said there were no reports of damage to the train car.

The delivery of new Orange and Red Line cars has seen considerable delays.

In the fall, Chinese firm CRRC said it was expecting to need several more months to finish manufacturing subway cars for the MBTA's Red and Orange Lines as a result of nagging pandemic-related supply and labor issues.

That was after already delaying the project's targeted end date by at least a year.

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Massachusetts transportation officials at the time said that they had not endorsed CRRC's revised schedule and would explore several options, including triggering a contract clause that would require the company to pay hefty damages for late completion, to mitigate another slowdown.

The pair of contracts between the MBTA and CRRC, together worth more than $880 million, seek to replace the entire Red and Orange Line subway fleets with brand-new vehicles, a transformative project that officials have long pledged will increase the system's capacity and allow them to run trains more frequently.

CRRC was originally expected to deliver all 152 Orange Line cars by January 2022 and all 252 Red Line cars by September 2023. Two years ago, the MBTA announced the target completion dates were delayed until April 2023 for the Orange Line and September 2024 for the Red Line.

The service disruptions will impact some of the MBTA's busiest stops in Boston over the weekend, on several different lines.

MBTA Deputy General Manager Jeff Gonneville said in the fall that the Chinese locomotive giant projects it will deliver the last batch of Orange Line cars to the T in summer 2023 and the final Red Line cars in summer 2025. That would represent 17 months past the contract's due date for the Orange Line and 21 months late for the Red Line.

Final assembly takes place in Springfield, after initial manufacturing overseas.

State House News Service contributed to this report.

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