Delivery of new MBTA subway cars delayed 12-15 months

The full deployment of the new MBTA Red and Orange Line subway car fleets will be delayed by at least a year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and preexisting manufacturing issues, MBTA officials announced Monday.


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The new cars are manufactured by Chinese manufacturer China Railroad Rolling Stock Corp. A factory in Springfield will turn out hundreds of subway cars for both the Orange and Red lines.

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Under its contract with CRRC, the MBTA expected to have a fleet of new Orange Line cars delivered by January 2022 and a fleet of new Red Line cars by September 2023.

The State House News Service, citing MBTA Deputy General Manager Jeff Gonneville, reports the Orange Line delivery is now projected to be 15 months late and arrive in April 2023, while the Red Line set is running a year late and is expected to be done in September 2024.

With those delays, the T also pushed back its target for running trains more frequently with shorter headways to summer 2023 for the Orange Line and winter 2024 for the Red Line.

Gonneville said the T’s contract with CRRC includes language allowing the agency to seek damages for delays and that officials intend to explore its possible application.

Each of the new cars will cost about $2.43 million. Approximately 200 people are employed at the CRRC factory in Springfield.

Information from Chris Lisinski and the State House News Service was used in this report


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