Officials conducted a site visit to the vehicles before to the launch. Photo: The Paper

Commuters in Boston, Massachusetts, can now travel on Chinese-made trains on the new Orange Line, which went into service on Wednesday this week.

The sparkling, orange six-carriage train system made by Chinese rolling stock manufacturer CRRC Corporation in its manufacturing facility in Springfield, Massachusetts, in December last year, was the first of a 404-subway car order from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the Paper reported.

The entire Orange Line upgrade would be completed by the end of 2022 and peak times would be reduced from 6 to 4.5 minutes with an increase in capacity of almost 40%.

MBTA general manager Steve Poftak said the new vehicles incorporated new designs and improved passenger comfort. New technology and accessibility features for enhanced commuter safety such as platform gap mitigation devices were also deployed.

Other new features included LED lighting, an automatic passenger counting system, remote diagnostics and closed-circuit security cameras, as well as accessibility improvements such as wider doors, gap-bridging devices, additional passenger emergency intercoms and more handrails.

In October 2014, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation awarded CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles – now part of the CRRC Corporation – a US$566.6 million contract for the Orange Line upgrade, in which 152 new carriages would be built to replace all the PA3 cars built by Hawker Siddeley Canada between 1979 and 1981.

A further 132 carriages for were also ordered for the Red Line, an order which was increased to 252 cars in December 2016, taking the total value of the Red and Orange Line New Vehicle Procurement Program to more than $1 billion.

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