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Mockup of new Orange Line train ships from China

A two-thirds-size replica of one of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s new Orange Line trains is on its way from China.MBTA

Next stop, Boston.

A two-thirds-size replica of one of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s new Orange Line trains was packed up, covered with a tarp, and placed on a cargo ship in China a day after Christmas, and is now on its way to the United States.

In a tweet shared by the MBTA Wednesday morning, which included an image of the mockup train car being loaded onto a Chinese barge, officials said it should take about a month for the mammoth package to arrive.

Once it makes land, the model car will be unloaded at the Conley Terminal in South Boston, T spokesman Joe Pesaturo said.


Pesaturo said the mockup is a design tool that vehicle engineers and T staff and personnel will closely examine. Its primary purpose is to give the T an opportunity to provide feedback to the manufacturer about what the agency likes, and what needs to be changed.

It was unclear if it would be put on display at some point for the public to view.

“If they can find a location where they can move it and have it on display for the public then they will do that, but there are some logistics that need to be worked out,” he said.

Pictures of the train model, which represent what the new trains will look like when they are introduced to the subway system in 2019, were first shown off during a meeting of the T’s Fiscal and Management Control Board back in November.

The images gave riders a glimpse at what their commutes will look like as the new train cars start hitting the tracks.

The China Railway Rolling Stock Corp. won a bid in 2014 to build 152 new Orange Line cars and 132 Red Line cars. All 284 cars are expected to be delivered by 2022. The vehicles will be assembled at a plant that the company is building in Springfield.


In December, the T’s fiscal control board voted to authorize as much as $277 million to buy an additional 134 Red Line cars from the same company, a move that will help replace the T’s entire fleet of Red Line vehicles by 2023.

After the T shared the picture to Twitter Wednesday of the mockup being picked up by a crane and placed on the Chinese ship, people cracked jokes at the transit agency’s expense, comparing the wait time for the model to arrive to the time people wait for trains to pick them up during the daily commute here in Boston.

“Ah, so basically the timeframe of getting to work on an Inbound B train,” one person quipped.


Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear. Nicole Dungca of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.