Transportation

The New Orange Line Cars Are Making an “Uncommon Noise” Now

They're being taken out of service again.


orange line train

Photo by Lisa Weidenfeld

Well, this is a new one.

As reported by the Boston Globe and Boston Herald, the new Orange Line cars have once again been taken out of service—this time for emitting an “uncommon noise” from their undersides. MBTA representative Lisa Battiston would not reveal any further details on what the noise sounded like, but explained that it was discovered by vehicle engineers who have been monitoring the trains’ performance. Battiston says that the cars are being removed from service “out of an abundance of caution” for an investigation.

“The decision was made to temporarily remove the new cars from service to investigate the issue, any potential impacts, and identify the necessary corrective action,” Battiston said in an emailed statement. “T personnel aim to resolve this issue as soon as possible and return the cars to service.”

The T has not yet set a date for the trains’ return to the tracks.

This is just the latest in an unfortunate string of snafus for the shiny new additions to the MBTA’s fleet. The sleek new vehicles certainly took their sweet time getting here, but their futuristic LCD displays, wider doors, and shiny plastic seats won Bostonians’ hearts quickly once they entered service. However, the initial tardiness was far from the only problem the trains would face. In September, one of the doors on the new cars popped open while the passenger-laden train was moving, and both trains had to be taken out of service so the doors could be replaced by a “new, heavy duty design.” Then, just last month, the last car on one of the new trains slipped off the tracks at Wellington Rail Yard and ran over a switch. The train was not damaged, and no one was aboard at the time.

During Tuesday’s snowstorm, power problems at State St. also caused the line to temporarily shut down from Haymarket to Tufts—so it really just wasn’t the Orange Line’s day. Sorry, Orange Line riders: It’s back to the very common noises (read: screeching, crackling speakers, doors repeatedly slamming open and shut) of the old trains for now.