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Red Line replacement: MBTA to phase out current cars

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Driver-less trains a possibility

The Red Line’s current cars will be replaced within the next 10 years, according to a newly approved plan from the MBTA.

The agency plans to purchase an additional 120 to 134 cars from a Chinese manufacturer by around 2024. (The cars will be built at a plant in Springfield.) The move, which could cost up to $280,000,000, is cheaper than a previous plan to overhaul 84 current cars along the T’s busiest line.

The changeover will also likely improve service on the delay-plagued route. Capacity is supposed to increase and wait times are supposed to decrease (and trains would presumably arrive less sardines-in-a-can-like).

The replacements also free the MBTA to have a little fun with the Red Line.

The agency could add doors on station platforms, the kind that slide open right as the train doors slide open. And! The MBTA could also run autonomous, or driver-less, trains on the Red Line tracks.

The future is here. Stay tuned.