Stray Orange Line Car Clogs Traffic on I-495

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BOSTON (State House News Service) — A new Orange Line car did not sustain any damage when the trailer to which it was attached detached from a truck shipping it across Massachusetts, clogging up Interstate 495 early Wednesday morning in the process, officials said.

MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo said the single new car manufactured by CRRC was not damaged in the incident, and another car was successfully delivered to the T's Wellington facility in Medford on Tuesday night.

State police first tweeted about the issue Tuesday night, saying a lane closure was in place on I-495 in Chelmsford "for [a] trailer that became separated from truck," and the Department of Transportation said Wednesday morning that crews may need to fully close the highway after the morning rush hour to remove the oversized vehicle.

No injuries were reported.

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The T's contract with Chinese firm CRRC to build all-new Red and Orange Line fleets has been beset by numerous problems and delays, and agency officials suspended delivery of the vehicles from July to February to address what Interim General Manager Jeff Gonneville called "manufacturing-related issues."

Two new cars arrived last week, in addition to the one Tuesday night and one on the highway in Chelmsford, now that delivery has resumed, according to Pesaturo.

"Prior to going into service, the two new cars at Wellington will undergo the steps in the MBTA strict process for accepting rail vehicles after they have been delivered," Pesaturo said in a statement. "After the rail cars are off-loaded, they undergo an initial inspection. Then there are a series of required static and dynamic tests of multiple components and operational systems on the vehicles. Also, a 500 mile 'burn-in' is required for each car before they enter passenger service."

Written by Chris Lisinski/SHNS.

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