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New MBTA Orange Line Cars Being Built In Springfield

SPRINGFIELD (CBS) -- We're getting our first look at the new MBTA Orange Line cars that are due to replace that line's aging trains.

New images of the cars being built were presented to the MBTA's oversight board on Monday.

orange line
One of the new Orange Line MBTA cars. (Photo credit: MBTA)

A Chinese company is now building the new cars at a plant in Springfield.

The T hopes to have the new cars--152 for the Orange Line and 132 for the Red Line--in service by 2019.

T officials say the new cars will increase line capacity and lower passenger wait times to around 5-6 minutes' wait between trains, or 4 minutes during typically busy hours.

orange line
Inside one of the new Orange Line MBTA cars. (Photo credit: MBTA)

The first of the new cars are set to be delivered in March 2018. On Wednesday, the MBTA announced $17.9 million in funding for J.F. White Contracting Company to improve the T's Medford maintenance and storage yard so that it will be ready to handle that delivery.

Last year, the MBTA asked the public to submit designs for new train cars that would be added to the Red, Green, and Orange Lines. They unveiled the chosen designs in November 2015.

The new cars being built in Springfield use this chosen design.

Chosen Orange Line design (Courtesy: MBTA)

The Orange Line has some of the oldest cars in use in all of the MBTA--the cars were first put into service 32 years ago, and cars on the Red Line are 44 years old. Several recent incidents and scares have caused officials to call for more funding for the T.

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