During a recent routine inspection, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) identified a failure in an electrical grounding component on an Orange Line vehicle and is currently operating two train sets fewer than the scheduled number of vehicles required to meet the agency’s schedule.
According to the MBTA, the agency has inspected all its new CRRC (China Railway Rolling Stock Corp.) MA-built Orange Line rapid transit vehicles to determine if this issue appears in other cars. To date, the MBTA says it has identified nine cars where some arcing appears to have occurred due to the identified failure in a power cable, and has removed all the impacted cars for repairs, including the replacement of axles. A total of 11 axles across the nine cars have been impacted.
MBTA and CRRC MA engineers “continue to investigate the root cause of this condition and the maintenance team is implementing an enhanced inspection program until the permanent repairs are completed,” the agency stated.
Currently, the MBTA is operating eight Orange Line train sets (48 cars) for a headway of 12-14 minutes, two train sets (12 cars) fewer than the scheduled number of vehicles required to meet our schedule.
As the MBTA continues its inspections and performs necessary repairs, Orange Line riders will continue to experience longer headways, the agency said.
This electrical issue comes three months after the MBTA completed its monthlong “maintenance-of-way blitz” on the Orange Line.