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Red Line trains in Cambridge slow down; section of track with defect to be replaced

Commuters walked through the Harvard Square MBTA station on Jan. 31, 2013.
Commuters walked through the Harvard Square MBTA station on Jan. 31, 2013. (Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff, file 2013)

Red Line passengers in Cambridge will face a slower ride Thursday after a safety inspection discovered a “defect” in a section of curving track south of the Harvard Square station, according to the MBTA.

As a safety precaution, trains traveling between Harvard Square and Central Square will leave the station at 3 miles to 5 miles an hour as opposed to the usual 10 miles an hour, T spokesman Joseph Pesaturo wrote in an e-mail.

The T is in the process of manufacturing a replacement section of rail, he wrote.

“The defect is on a curve and a new section of rail will need to be manufactured by T workers today. It will be replaced tonight,’’ he wrote. “The MBTA apologizes to its Red Line customers whose commutes are being impacted.”

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In a tweet, the T warned passengers they face a 15-minute delay in both directions.

The T first tweeted about the slowdown around 7:29 a.m., although service began around 5 a.m. The speed reductions did not impact early morning trains because fewer run at the time.


John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.