Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority riders can take a step into the future next week and get a glimpse of what their train to work or school will soon look like.
Officials from the public transit agency announced this week that a mockup of the new Orange Line train cars will be on display at City Hall Plaza beginning Monday. The model train will remain on the brick expanse, near Government Center Station, for three days.
Those interested in taking a peek at the train car, a two-thirds-size replica that was shipped from China in early January, can step inside the vehicle, try out the seats, and test the strap-hangers — an experience that T officials described as fully “interactive.”
In celebration of the display, the Government Center head house, which features color-changing lights, will shine orange next week.
In 2014, the China Railway Rolling Stock Corp., or CRRC, won a bid 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.
The first six Orange Line pilot cars are scheduled to arrive in December this year to be tested. The delivery of the other 146 cars is slated to begin in 2018, officials said.
The Chinese company created the mockup that will be on the plaza as part of its contract with the MBTA. Its primary purpose is to give transit officials a chance to inspect the design, provide feedback to the manufacturer, and suggest possible tweaks and changes.
Governor Charlie Baker and several top MBTA officials toured the mockup last week at Wellington Station.
Brian Shortsleeve, acting general manager for the MBTA, said it was important to give riders a chance to examine the train car before the new models hit the tracks.
“There’s a great deal of excitement surrounding the delivery of hundreds of new Orange and Red Line cars,” he said in a statement. “And it’s important we keep our customers updated through each phase of the procurement process.”Steve Annear can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.