The MBTA Says the Red Line Is Finally Back to Normal

More than three months after a derailment, the trains are now back to regular service.

red line train

Photo by Margaret Burdge

The Red Line suffered the signal problem to end all signal problems back in June, when a train hopped off the tracks and smashed into the digital systems at the JFK/UMass stop, leading to months of delays as MBTA operators were forced to crawl through the station manually.

But good news: The problem appears to be solved. In a tweet on Wednesday afternoon, the T announced it has finally made all the necessary repairs to get back on track, and service on the line has returned to normal as of Monday.

“While I’m pleased Red Line service has been restored, this event underscores the level of urgency we need to continue to build a better T,” MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak says in a statement. “I want to express my deepest gratitude to our customers for their patience while restoration work took place. I also want to thank our entire workforce and contractors for their efforts to work seven days a week to restore the system to normal.”

Crews over the last three months rebuilt 20 miles of signal cable, hundreds of signal relays, as well as so-called “signal bungalows” damaged in the June 11 derailment, the T says. MBTA officials had said previously that the repairs might not be complete until October.

If all goes according to plan, that means trains should be back to running every 4-5 minutes along the busy corridor at rush hour, news that is sure to be a relief to the thousands who rely on the Red Line each day.

Last week, we learned exactly what was to blame for the derailment: cracked axle, which had been weakened by a piece of grounding equipment that inspectors had failed to notice was faulty.