The MBTA has released a concept design for new Green Line cars, and the proposed changes mean longer, more accessible trains that can carry more passengers.
The newly designed Green Line trains would increase capacity with single cars that are 116 feet long, rather than the current 74-foot-long cars, the transit authority said.
That means one car could hold as many riders as two current Green Line cars, and to maximize boarding efficiency, the MBTA said, these cars will have five doors per side.
The new cars would also be 100 percent accessible, since there are no steps are stairs up to or within the cars.
Take a virtual tour of our concept design for a new generation of Green Line cars! A single car is 116 feet (as opposed to the current 74 feet), 100% accessible, low/no stairs, has five doors for boarding & offloading, and has the passenger capacity of TWO current Type 8/9 cars. pic.twitter.com/rxYtOhr8s7
— MBTA (@MBTA) May 8, 2018
New cars can’t be the only changes to make the T more efficient, though. The subway tracks will have to be updated, as well.
“Legacy subway infrastructure has always influenced vehicle design,” according to the MBTA Fiscal Management Control Board.
Curves and loops in the tracks have restricted the types of car designs that can be built, so with new, longer cars, that infrastructure will need to be updated.
The Lechmere Inner Loop curve, the board noted in a presentation, is particularly sharp and has influenced Green Line car design for 96 years. As part of the Green Line Extension project, that curve is being removed.
Station and platform lengths will need to be extended to accommodate the new trains, and bridge infrastructure will need updates, as well. The new concept design incorporates different spacing of the train’s axles to spread the weight across those bridges differently than current cars.
It will take about a decade or more to implement all these changes to the track infrastructure and to get these new cars, the MBTA said. The new cars are expected to arrive in 2028, and the entire project is expected to cost about $3.5 billion.