The MBTA announced Friday that it will expedite repairs on the Red Line, which have seen delays since a car derailment damaged signal hardware and equipment early last week.
Work on the Red Line will continue throughout the summer, while the MBTA says its accelerated repair schedule now aims to improve service levels by Labor Day.
Since the June 11 derailment, MBTA says its forces and contractor personnel have been working around the clock to restore track and power systems to normal around the area of JFK/UMass Station. Crews are focusing on signal restoration in four areas of the Red Line:
- Broadway to JFK/UMass
- Ashmont Branch: JFK/UMass to Fields Corner
- Braintree Branch: JFK/UMass to the track in the area proximate to Tenean Beach
- Cabot Yard in South Boston to JFK/UMass
In the days after the derailment, trains could run only about once every 10 minutes during rush hour from JFK/UMass to Alewife, but frequency has now increased to one train every six minutes.
The MBTA still encourages Red Line riders to plan in extra travel time while they use manually operated switches.
"While we recognize anything but full service falls short of our customers’ expectations, our current recovery schedule reflects the MBTA’s urgent approach to the massive task of returning the Red Line to full service," said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak.
Without the properly functioning signal system, Red Line trains must receive permission to proceed station to station. The MBTA says that this limits both train speeds and the overall number of trains in service.
The Red Line was initially scheduled to have signal system repairs completed by 2021, but now the MBTA says it will move that timeline up to fully replace and update much of this equipment by next year.
The original derailment on the Red Line is still under investigation. The MBTA says operator error, foul play, and track infrastructure have been ruled out as the likely cause of the incident.