Thursday, May 23, 2024

The MBTA red line has returned to a pre-derailment schedule. (Photo: Marc Levy)

Red line signal repair efforts have ended, putting the subway line back on schedule after a June 11 derailment, the MBTA said Wednesday.

The red line was able to run only around six trains per hour during rush hour service, or roughly one train every 10 minutes, after the derailment, and midday brought about five trains per hour. As of last week, the 28 red lines trains were back to a pre-derailment schedule that meant about 14 trains per hour through the downtown area, or about one train every four to five minutes during rush hour. During the midday, the red line was back to operating between nine and 10 trains per hour.

Efforts to restore the signal system between the JFK/UMass and North Quincy stops were completed this past weekend, followed by days of testing, state transportation officials said.

“While I’m pleased Red Line service has been restored, this event underscores the level of urgency we need to continue to build a better T,” said Steve Poftak, general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority. “I want to express my deepest gratitude to our customers for their patience while restoration work took place. I also want to thank our entire workforce and contractors for their efforts to work seven days a week to restore the system to normal.”

There were 106 days of repair, the state said.

In the meantime, Cambridge’s City Council has renewed a call for faster repair work to the Central and Harvard square elevators along the red line; the Central Square situation is the more dire, since the two-platform structure of the stop means that the loss of an elevator means no elevator service at all for anyone on an inbound train – and, to make matters worse, the sidewalk repair site has been filthy for months. After complaining in April, a little more than a year after the elevator was shut down for service, councillors were back Sept. 16 to note that conditions were not improved. (Officially, the elevator was due back in service this spring, but transportation officials say train schedules give them only a couple of hours nightly in which to do the repair work – and the finish date was changed to “early 2020,” without an update to the sign posted on the elevator.)

Councillor E. Denise Simmons suggested that the city could clean the site and bill the state afterward. “It’s quite the eyesore,” Simmons said. “I don’t know how it gets done, but it has to get done. It brings down the square, and we’re working so hard to improve it.”