MBTA General Manager Phillip Eng this morning released a proposed schedule for track repairs across most of the T subway system in 2024 that will mean more of the multi-day shutdowns riders have grown accustomed to over the past couple of years, but which he says will ultimately mean faster, smoother rides.
The scheduled includes repair shutdowns across the Red, Orange and Blue Lines and most of the Green Line. Not included in the schedule is work to replace most of the tracks on the new Green Line Extension, where, someway, somehow, contractors installed tracks that do not meet the width specifications that North American railroads and subways have used since before the Civil War.
Also left out: The Mattapan Line, but that's because the T says the tracks there are now in good repair.
Eng says that as of this week, the T has 191 "slow zones" - 69 on the Green Line, 66 on the Red Line, 42 on the Orange Line and 14 on the Blue Line. Work slated for this fall is scheduled to fix 39 of them. Next year's work will eliminate the remaining 152 of those - and will include replacing nearly 24 miles of rail and 28,000 ties. Also in the works: Repacking ballast under some 39 miles of track, which will mean smoother rides. However, one of the T's problems this year has been that as they fix one slow zone, another one seems to pop up.
Included in a presentation by Eng is a tentative schedule for the 24 separate periods of service-halting work to accomplish all this. Some of the shutdowns will be for just a day, but the scheduled also calls for two weeks of work on the Green Line between Kenmore and Babcock on the B Line, St. Mary's on the C Line and Brookline Hills on the D Line between Feb. 20 and March 8, ten days on the Orange Line - which was shut for an entire month last year for repairs - between Forest Hills and Back Bay in late September and two weeks of work on the Red Line between JFK/UMass and Braintree, also in September,