BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The first batch of new MBTA Commuter Rail trains are now on their way to Boston.
The first four new coaches for the Commuter Rail have been loaded onto a cargo ship in South Korea and are now beginning their journey to Boston. The ship will travel to Baltimore, where the coaches will be loaded onto the tracks and travel to Rochester, MA.
The new coaches are all bi-level and will replace single-level coaches in the fleet. In 2019, the MBTA awarded a $278.5 million contract to Hyundai-Rotem to manufacture 83 of these new coaches, which will help boost capacity by over 14,000 seats daily, according to an MBTA spokesperson. The coaches were paid for by the Commonwealth.
Once the coaches arrive in Massachusetts, they will undergo testing and inspections before they enter service. An MBTA spokesperson said the new trains are already compatible with the Commuter Rail's current trains and infrastructure.
The coaches include new features like LED lighting and a new positive train control system. The U.S. Department of Transportation said these systems work to prevent "train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, incursions into established work zones, and movements of trains through switches left in the wrong position."
The new coaches are expected to enter service before the end of the summer, according to an MBTA spokesperson.