Here’s why there are still slow areas on the orange line


Officials initially said speed restrictions would be lifted within a week or so of the line opening.

Carlin Stiehl for the Boston Globe, file

There are new trains and journeys are moving faster than when service resumed on the Orange Line after its unprecedented 30-day shutdown. But commuters still encounter stretches of slow travel that add time to their journeys.

Officials originally promised that speed restrictions in six “slow zones” on the Orange Line would be lifted within a week or so of the reopening of train service, to allow the new track to “settle in”.

But slow zones remain in place between Boston’s North Station and Assembly in Somerville, much to the dismay of commuters.

“It’s crawling, like you can stand up without hanging onto the railings and worrying about tipping over,” one passenger told CBS Boston.

Asked about the ongoing slow sections, an MBTA spokesperson said that during the 30-day shutdown all work identified as “necessary” to remove the six slowdowns on the line has been completed. But at the end of the line closure, it was determined that with the crews already in place, the MBTA could “take advantage of the accessibility to begin work on additional lower priority projects that should be handled at a later date, now”.

“The MBTA will continue to carry out maintenance activities on the line as necessary and appreciates the patience of all users as the slow areas remain in place while these secondary works beyond the reach of the surge continue between Gare du Nord and Assembly Square and let the track and ballast settle,” the statement read.

The statement did not say when the speed limits would be lifted.

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