Just weeks before the entire Orange Line will be closed for 30 days, another part of the MBTA subway system is now closed to riders. Branch E of the Green Line closed on Saturday and will remain closed until August 21.
The 16-day full-access closure will allow workers to replace approximately 2,000 feet of track and install Green Line Train Protection System (GLTPS) equipment, according to the MBTA. Most of the work will take place between Longwood Avenue and Brigham Circle stations.
The T will provide an alternative shuttle service for passengers during this time. The Route 39 bus line, which runs along the E spur, will be “enriched” with more vehicles during the shutdown. These additional buses will run from Heath Street station to Copley station and back.
Work on the E branch is part of a larger effort dubbed Green Line Transformation. This project is focused on improving the reliability and quality of service for users of the most popular line of the T.
Branch C was previously closed for 12 days.
“Capital Transformation continues to work diligently to provide the best possible service to all Green Line riders,” Angel Peña, MBTA’s Chief Capital Transformation Officer, said in a statement. “With two branches now complete, the team is excited to focus on branch E, making critical improvements to the area. It is our team’s top priority to keep all riders informed for the duration of the closure. 16 days.”
During the closure of Branch C, workers replaced 1,500 feet of track between St. Mary’s and Kenmore stations and installed wayside equipment for GLTPS.
This system uses technology on the trains themselves and along the tracks to better avoid train-to-train collisions. Radar, signals and cameras send data to Green Line trains as they move. The system then informs train operators of potential hazards. It can also automatically stop the train when another train is detected in its path, when a red light is detected, or when the vehicle is traveling beyond a certain speed. In addition to reducing the risk of collisions, the GLTPS system should also improve travel time for users by eliminating unplanned stops.
MBTA officials recently announced that the planned Green Line extension to Medford will be delayed until November. Shuttles will replace the Green Line service between Government Center station and the new Union Square station in Somerville from August 22 to September 18.
Several factors contributed to this move, including the availability of workers who previously had to prioritize the extension of the green line. Instead, many were reassigned to other construction work necessitated by Federal Transit Administration safety management inspection guidelines.
“While construction may be disruptive, I want to thank all Green Line riders for their patience and understanding during this time of improvement,” MBTA Chief Executive Steve Poftak said in a statement.
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