Long Waits Continue on Orange Line After MBTA Pulls Trains Over Electrical Issue

Riders should expect increased wait times and longer headways between trains, the agency said

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The MBTA says it has removed nine Orange Line cars for repairs after they were found to have issues with "electrical arcing."

The agency said a recent routine inspection of an Orange Line vehicle uncovered a failure in a power cable that may have crated some electrical arcing with a nearby train axle. All other Orange Line vehicles were subsequently inspected, and to date the MBTA said it has identified nine cars where some arcing appears to have occurred, and removed all of the impacted cars for repairs, including replacement of the axles. A total of 11 axles across the nine cars have been impacted.



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As the MBTA continues its inspections and repairs, it said that Orange Line riders will continue to experience increased wait times and longer headways between trains.

The MBTA later explained that eight sets of Orange Line trains, with a total of 48 cars, two fewer train sets and 12 fewer cars than the agency needs to meet its schedule. A headway of 12-14 minutes between trains is expected, and people visiting for First Night Boston are advised to plan for extra travel time.

Engineers with the MBTA and CRRC, the manufacturers of the trains, continue to investigate the cause of the condition, and the maintenance team is implementing an enhanced inspection program until the permanent repairs are completed.

The announcement came shortly after the Boston Globe reported that the T had cut Orange Line service by nearly half in recent days without notifying riders about a reason for the change.

MBTA spokesperson Lisa Battiston did not immediately respond to questions Friday afternoon about how many Orange Line vehicles remained in passenger service or whether the T would redeploy older vehicles, which the MBTA stopped running in the wake of a month-long maintenance shutdown this summer, to restore capacity.

Further updates are expected later Friday, the MBTA said.

State House News Service contributed to this report.

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