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MBTA lifts blanket speed restriction on Mattapan line

A trolley pulled into Mattapan station earlier this week.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

The MBTA announced a partial reprieve for riders Thursday, lifting a blanket speed restriction on the Mattapan trolley while maintaining a 25 mile-per-hour limit on the Green Line.

“Service Update: The global speed restriction on the Mattapan Line has been lifted & replaced with block restrictions where necessary,” the MBTA posted on Twitter shortly before 7 a.m. “The Green Line remains under the global speed restriction.” Riders should continue to allow themselves extra travel time, officials said.

A week ago, the MBTA implemented a 25 mile-per-hour speed limit — down from the normal top speed of 40 —across all subway lines because of safety concerns raised by a state oversight agency after an inspection. The agency lifted the systemwide speed limit the next day but maintained it on the Green Line and Mattapan Trolley Line.


The restrictions came after inspectors with the Department of Public Utilities found problems on a stretch of Red Line track between Ashmont and Savin Hill stations, officials said. The “concerning conditions and violations of track standards ... required immediate corrective action,” a DPU spokesperson said.

The next day, DPU demanded the MBTA turn over a corrective action plan for the inspected section of track and asked for reports documenting repairs to other problem areas, according to letters sent to the MBTA and shared with the Globe. But the MBTA could not produce documentation verifying that the tracks were in good working order, officials said.

As MBTA officials reviewed documentation, it began to lift restrictions on stretches of track deemed safe for full-speed travel.

It wasn’t immediately clear Thursday when T officials will lift the speed restriction on the Green Line.

Separately, a piece of felt fell from the ceiling at the Forest Hills station on Wednesday, renewing concerns about the MBTA’s infrastructure. In September, a piece of concrete fell from the ceiling at Forest Hills onto the platform.


But the debris that fell Wednesday “was not concrete,” said MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo.

Facilities personnel at the station noticed an area where felt, which is used to pad joints near bridges, was missing, Pesaturo said. As a result, water was seen “coming down by the bridge joint,” Pesaturo said.

On March 1, a ceiling panel weighing more than 20 pounds plunged to the ground at Harvard station, landing inches from a woman heading toward the stairs.

In response, the transit agency said it would inspect all the panels across the system.

John Ellement of the Globe Staff and correspondent Claire Law contributed to this report.

Travis Andersen can be reached at