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Rail News: Mechanical

MBTA unveils $7.9 million plan to upgrade trolley fleet

The agency's trolleys date back to the 1940s.
Photo – MBTA

[Editor's note: This story was updated on March 2.]

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) will spend $7.9 million over the next two years to overhaul its existing Presidents' Conference Committee (PCC) streetcars on the Mattapan-Ashmont Line.

The project is aimed at maintaining the historical significance of the 1940s-era cars while keeping them viable for the next decade, MBTA officials said in a press release.

Because of its age, the fleet requires constant repair and replacement of parts no longer available on the market. MBTA machinists must manufacture the necessary parts at the agency's shops in Everett, Mass.

In addition, some parts have been obtained from museums, which adds to the overall cost of repairs, MBTA officials said.

"These historic vehicles are among the very last of many thousands that operated in major cities across the United States, and are beloved by many residents in the communities they serve," said MBTA Acting General Manager Brian Shortsleeve.

The fleet consists of 10 cars, but only seven are in revenue service.

The MBTA also plans to spend $1.1 million to help determine long-term solutions for the trolley line. The money will be used to review the line's operations, track, bridges, vehicles and other infrastructure, according to an MBTA report to its fiscal and management control board.

The 2.6-mile Mattapan-Ashmont line serves 4,600 riders each weekday. The route includes eight stations in Dorchester, Milton and Mattapan.


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