MBTA Hopes New Lube Will Help the Screeching at Boylston Street

Ay, there's the rub.

It’s as Boston a sound as a non-rhotic “R,” or a home-run cracking off Big Papi’s bat. The screeching of trains at the Boylston Street T station is easily recognizable to the Hub’s straphangers, albeit for its ear-splitting, blood-curdling unpleasantness. The MBTA wants to fix that.

In the past, the T has used “greaser units” that pump lubricant onto the wheels of trains as they make the near 90-degree turn from Boylston to Tremont Street, one of the sharpest in North American public transit. In addition to six new greaser units, T engineers have installed “flange stick lubricators” on all new Green line trains, WBUR reports, which applies graphite to the train wheels as they turn.

The engineers will monitor the new flange stick lubricators over the next several months. If successful, the T will adopt flange stick lubricrators for the rest of the Green Line fleet.

Prior to its multimillion-dollar renovation, Government Center station was home to a similarly noxious screech (and a Dunks, but who’s bitter?). Among the many upgrades made to the station were misters affixed to the tracks—not unlike those found in your supermarket’s produce aisle—which spray water as the trains roll through to cut down on the noise.