T riders will get glimpse of what's to come on the Orange Line when the MBTA brings a prototype of the new train cars to City Hall Plaza next week.
The trains will be on display in the plaza from Monday to Wednesday, according to an MBTA spokeswoman.
It will still be some time until riders see the new train cars go into service, however. The first Orange Line pilot cars are scheduled to be delivered in December with the delivery of the Orange Line production fleet scheduled to begin a year later, Lisa Battiston of the MBTAsaid.
In total, the 152 new Orange Line cars and252 new Red Line cars will be coming online as part of a 2014 procurement order.
A Chinese company, China Railway Rolling Stock Corp,is assembling all 404 carsat a plant it is building in Springfield. Production is expected to be completed by 2022. The company won the bid for $565 million.
The prototype on displayis two-thirds the size of the actual Orange Line cars. It was shipped over from China in January to give T engineers and other employees a chance to inspect the replica and provide feedback to the train manufacturer prior to rolling outproduction.
The new cars incorporate a variety of new features to improve reliability, maintainability, safety and comfort, including better communications and diagnostics systems, LED lighting, automatic passenger counters and closed-circuit cameras.
The new cars also include accessibility improvements including gap mitigation devices, additional passenger emergency intercoms, wider side-door openings, and four access locations per car.
The MBTA has also announced it is replacing its entire fleet of Red Line cars, purchasing an additional 120 cars and an option to buy 14 more for a total contract of $280 million.
Once China Railway Rolling Stock Corp. completes theinitial order of Red and Orange Line cars, they will start the 120 additional Red Line cars in June 2022. If the project stays on schedule, MBTA customers will step foot on new Red Line cars by early 2020.