Commuters, there is hope on the distant horizon.
MBTA officials recently shared pictures of a two-thirds-size mockup of the transit agency’s new Orange Line trains, giving riders a glimpse into the future of public transportation in Greater Boston.
The trains, which will begin to hit the tracks by 2019, are being built by the China Railway Rolling Stock Corp., or CRRC. The manufacturer is building a plant in Springfield to assemble the cars.
In 2014, the CRRC won a contract with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to build 152 new Orange Line cars and 132 Red Line cars. All 284 cars are expected to be delivered by 2022.
The exteriors of the Orange Line cars feature a silver frame with a long orange stripe running along the bottom of the vehicles. Orange paint also marks the front of the cars. Small orange “T” symbols can be seen near the trains’ doors.
A second picture shows the interior of the trains. No longer will the seats of the Orange Line be covered in black fabric or carpet-like material. Instead, orange plastic seats will greet commuters.
The exterior pattern was decided after the MBTA launched a survey last year inviting riders to pick their favorite design from several options.
MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said the model should be in Boston just after the new year begins. For the moment, it’s still in China.
When asked if the model, once in Massachusetts, would be put on display for riders to inspect firsthand, Pesaturo replied, “to be determined.”
“We are looking at some options for making sure our customers are kept up to date throughout the procurement process,” he said.