People stateside aren’t the only ones who seem enthusiastic about the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority rolling out new and improved train cars for the Orange and Red Lines over the next few years.
On Thursday, T officials shared an anime-style drawing on Twitter that they said was conjured up by a train-loving artist in China, which is the home of the company that won a bid to design and manufacture the MBTA’s new vehicles.
The image was tweeted the same day that the T announced the grand opening of a new Springfield-based plant, where the train cars will be assembled once they arrive from China.
The drawing is dramatic, to say the least, and probably diverges from what the average riders might think when they hear the words “MBTA commute.”
The artwork shows a woman striking a commanding pose, her hand extended and pointing forward toward the horizon with a sense of authority. The woman, who is wearing a conductor’s uniform, is standing above two shiny-looking models of the T’s new train cars that look as though they’re racing to the nearest T stop.
Behind her, reaching skyward, are cartoon versions of both the Old North Church and the former John Hancock tower. A map of the MBTA’s subway system stretches across the background like a multicolored lightning bolt, as a man staring fervently into a computer screen sits below it.
“An artist & transit enthusiast in China created this image, depicting the new #MBTA subway cars,” T officials said. “The assembly plant in Mass. opens today!”
Joe Pesaturo, a spokesman for the transit agency, said in a statement that while he’s no art expert, “It’s great to see there is excitement about the T’s new subway cars on two continents.”
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. In December last year, the T’s fiscal control board voted to buy an additional 120 Red Line cars from the same company.
The transit agency released video Tuesday that showed a few of the flashy train cars riding along a track in Changchun, China, during initial testing. The first six Orange Line pilot cars will arrive in December, according to officials.
CRRC’s 204,000-square-foot Springfield manufacturing facility includes a “dynamic test track,” and a staging and storage area, according to the company’s website.
At least one person seemed to be a fan of the artwork, asking where he could find a hard copy of it for himself.
“This is incredible,” Nick Schmidt said, in reply to the T’s tweet. “Please produce posters for purchase.”