If you’ve been trying to hunt down the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s new Orange Line train like some kind of White Whale, just to experience its cleanliness and efficiency, your search just got easier: There are now two — count them — two six-car trains up and running.
As of Thursday morning, the second new Orange Line train, with all the bells and whistles, began rumbling down the tracks, according to MBTA officials and excited riders.
“Orange you happy?” T spokesman Joe Pesaturo said in an e-mail, when asked about the launch of another train.
In a follow-up statement, MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said the transit authority is “pleased to put the second new train into service,” a move that’s part of the T’s $2 billion effort to bring upgrades to vehicles and infrastructure along the Red and Orange lines.
On Aug. 14, the first six Orange Line cars officially entered service at Wellington Station, gleaming vehicles that have been delighting riders who are accustomed to boarding the decrepit trains that have been running for decades. The entire fleet of 152 Orange Line cars is scheduled to be replaced by 2022.
Since the initial launch, riders have taken to Twitter to either ask where to find the first new train (note: there’s a website for that) or express excitement when becoming one of the lucky passengers to “finally” board it or see it in real life.
“I finally saw a new orange line train and, even better, am riding in it! Just leveled up,” one commuter said on Twitter recently.
Another elated person Thursday tweeted a GIF of the classic M&M Christmas advertisement where the two talking pieces of candy meet Santa Claus. The GIF read, “They do exist.”
While both six-car “train sets” are now in service, there may be times when they’re not running at the same time, T officials said.
Like all the Orange Line trains, the new ones get rotated in and out of service. For example, the first new train that went into service last month was not in service Thursday morning, Pesaturo said in an e-mail, but the newer one was up and running.
For the time being, Pesaturo added, the MBTA will have one new train operating during the first half of the day, and then the second new train operating later in the day, “so that a new train is in service all day.”
It was unclear when they would be traveling around simultaneously. But Pesaturo pointed out that the number of hours that a new train is in service each day has now increased because at least one of the trains will always be running.
And there’s more to come, the T said Thursday — and not just for Orange Line riders.
“Next month,” Poftak said, “we look forward to celebrating the arrival of the first new Red Line train. Vehicle engineering personnel will start putting the new six-car train through a series of tests after its arrival.”
The target launch for that set of train cars to go into service is next spring.
Milestone day: finally saw one of the new orange line trains on my way in. Didn’t get to ride it, but at least I know they’re real.— Brett Enos (@brettenos) September 19, 2019
You know you take the T too much when you get excited that you finally get to ride on the new orange line train— Arianna Terrazano (@ariannaaat) September 18, 2019