MBTA to shut down part of Red Line for repairs in October

The 16-day shutdown will impact the Ashmont Branch between JFK/UMass and Ashmont stations and the Mattapan Line between Ashmont and Mattapan stations

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The MBTA announced Thursday that it plans to suspend service on part of the Red Line for repairs for two weeks in October.

The T said in a press release that it will shut down the Ashmont Branch between JFK/UMass and Ashmont stations and the Mattapan Line between Ashmont and Mattapan stations from Oct. 14-29 so crews can work to remedy existing speed restrictions.



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Free shuttle buses will replace train and trolley service while the work is completed.

Part of the Red Line will close for two weeks in October, the MBTA said Thursday.

“Safety of the MBTA system is paramount, and this 16-day closure allows us to address many of the Red Line’s worst speed restrictions much faster than we’ve been able to accomplish during night and weekend work,” MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng said in a statement. “We understand service changes can be frustrating, and I want to thank the public for their patience while we perform this critical and targeted work between JFK/UMass and Ashmont Stations and on the Mattapan Line.”

The Ashmont Branch serves about 40,000 riders a day, and the Mattapan Line another 3,700, according to the MBTA.

The T plans to hold four open houses in September to give the public a chance to learn about the work and ask questions of the project team. The dates will be posted on the MBTA Public Meetings webpage in the near future.

The MBTA said the track between JFK/UMass and Ashmont stations and on the Mattapan Line is some of the oldest in the system and is badly in need of replacement. This shutdown will allow crews to replace rail, ties, and ballast to improve reliability and reduce maintenance needs.

Without the shutdown, the T said that work would have taken six months to complete.

Once the work is complete, the MBTA said 28 speed restrictions will be alleviated in the area, improving travel times dramatically for Ashmont Branch and Mattapan Line riders.

"I think a lot of riders are skeptical of this kind of thing," said Christian Milneil, editor of the transportation news website StreetsBlog Massachusetts.

He's not sure the closure will lead to a faster commute, saying last year's shutdown of the Orange Line has not lived up to similar promises.

"It's still, to this day, not running as fast as it ran before that shutdown happened," said Milneil.

The T said it will look to identify additional work opportunities along both lines during the shutdown aimed at improving the rider experience through station enhancements including painting, power washing, and repairing lighting fixtures; vegetation removal; the removal of tripping hazards; and accessibility improvements.

For more information on the Red Line project, go to www.mbta.com/RLT, email the project team at RLT@mbta.com or call MBTA Customer Service at 617-222-3200. Riders can also sign up for T-Alerts or follow the MBTA on X @MBTA for the latest service information.

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