The new Red Line train is slowly returning to passenger service

MBTA officials say it will begin operating on "most weekdays," as training on the new cars continues.

The new Red Line Train heads into JFK/Umass Station, Jan. 15, 2021. Jonathan Wiggs / The Boston Globe

With some stops and starts, the MBTA’s first new Red Line train is getting back on track.

Officials say the sleek, six-car train set — the first of 252 new Red Line cars the MBTA plans to deliver by late 2024 — is reentering somewhat regular service, over nine months after it was pulled off the tracks to address issues that caused the slow-speed derailment of one of the agency’s new Orange Line trains in March.

The new Red Line train first returned last week, and MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said in an email Wednesday that it will begin operating on “most weekdays” this week. According to Pesaturo, the new train is expected to be in service Wednesday afternoon, Thursday, and Friday.


However, there will still be days when it won’t be in service so that train operators can be trained on the new vehicles, which are more spacious and include a number of modernized features. Pesaturo also said that emergency first responders have been training on the new cars to familiarize with the vehicles. After its brief return, the new train hadn’t been seen on the tracks since Thursday.

The MBTA also announced Wednesday that it had finished its mile-long Red Line train test track and vehicle testing facility, which officials say will help the new fleet’s fledging rollout to proceed more quickly.

The test track, which runs along South Boston Bypass Road near Broadway Station, will allow officials to test new trains without interfering with maintenance or competing regular service on mainline tracks.

They also said it will allow easier access for vehicle deliveries, which are expected to increase through 2022, as additional cars are shipped from manufacturer CRRC’s facility in Springfield.

Pesaturo said additional new Red Line cars will be delivered this winter, though “a formal production and delivery schedule is still being developed.”


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