MBTA to shut down much of Orange Line this weekend

Much of the Orange Line will be shut down this weekend to speed up track work that will continue next month along with additional subway diversions that the MBTA plans to announce later this week, a spokesperson said.

The MBTA said in a Tuesday tweet that the Orange Line will be closed from North Station to Ruggles, for work on the Government Center Garage, a service disruption that extends further than what was previously shared with the public.

“With Orange Line service suspended to accommodate the ongoing demolition of the Government Center parking garage by the private developer, HYM, the MBTA is leveraging this opportunity to perform additional track work, including the replacement of rail fasteners, between Back Bay and Ruggles station,” MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo said.

“The important work this weekend, which will continue next month, will lead to faster and more reliable Orange Line service.”

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MBTA officials said in October that Orange Line “slow zones” targeted during this summer’s 30-day shutdown would be lifted last month, but several remain in place, according to data from advocacy group TransitMatters.

The data show that trips between Oak Grove and North Station are about three minutes longer now than before the shutdown.

Headways also continue to be longer at times due to the lower number of Orange Line trains in service.

Nine cars with mechanical failures were temporarily removed last month, and although those cars have been fixed, service continues to be affected as the MBTA performs weekly inspections of the new fleet.

A spokesperson said the MBTA will provide information later this week on diversions scheduled for next month.

No further information on affected subway lines was provided, but TransitMatters data show an abundance of speed restrictions on the Red Line, which has roughly 21.5 minutes of slow time compared to 3.3 minutes on the Orange Line.