Orange Line Out of Service Through Mid-April, May Cause Commute Delays

Orange Line customers should plan extra time into their commute, according to the MBTA, as officials continue to address damage caused by a derailment at Wellington Station in Medford on March 16

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Commute times may take even longer as shuttle buses continue replacing Orange Line service between Oak Grove and Sullivan Square through April 11, the MBTA announced Thursday.

The agency said customers should plan extra time into their commute, citing ongoing infrastructure upgrades at Wellington Station and damage from a derailment earlier this month. The trains may stand by at stations longer than usual due to single tracking between Sullivan Square and Community College, according to officials.

Affected stops include Oak Grove, Malden Center, Wellington, Assembly and Sullivan Square.

Last week, the MBTA pulled all of the new Orange and Red Line trains from service and replaced them with the shuttle buses after it derailed at Wellington Station in Medford. The Orange Line train derailed in a work zone at Wellington Station on March 16, according to officials, when a slow-moving northbound train was crossing to the southbound track to accommodate ongoing maintenance work.

The MBTA said at the time that the service changes would be in effect for three weeks.

The MBTA shuttle buses will continue to replace train service between the northern terminus of the Orange Line, Oak Grove, and Community College Station after Tuesday's derailment in Medford.

The new orange Line train cars, which went into service in August 2019, are more spacious and have wider doors and more safety features. But the subway trains have since derailed six times near Wellington Station. Officials told NBC10 Boston Investigators that their weight might have played a role in some of the accidents.

The entire fleet of Orange Line cars will eventually be replaced with the new version, though the rollout has been bumpy, with the cars initially making odd noises that were eventually traced to a faulty wear pad, then temporarily taken out of service last March for a maintenance issue.

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