Move over Wellesley Commuter Rail trains: Orange Line vehicles make a cameo appearance

Early birds in Wellesley on Tuesday saw quite the unusual site: A couple of old MBTA Orange line trains being carried through town on tractor trailers.

Resident Tim Lysaght says he was on his way to work when “I noticed many vehicles with yellow emergency lights flashing on Oakland street between Washington and Route 9. The curious me decided to go see what was going on. There were two very large tractor trailers carrying two old MBTA Orange line trains.”

Not only was the sight of the trains curious, but also the route being taken. They were headed west on Washington Street and wound up taking a 5-or-so point turn onto Oakland Street before going east on Rte. 9.

We reached out to the MBTA, and they passed us along to MassDOT, which had the skinny on the situation. The state’s Department of Transportation defined this cargo as “super loads” at 168,000 lbs. and approximately 125’ in length. So they required special permits, which in this case involved “an in-depth route analysis and survey to ensure turning radius are sufficient for roadway layout, and structural analysis of bridges, culverts and other structures to ensure they can carry the load safely on the number of axles for the configured vehicle.” Due to size of these loads, they had to avoid a certain structure, requiring the “west to go east” turning movement that was a smaller part of the entire route.

Their point of origin was Presidents Landing in Medford and their destination was Wareham Street in Middleborough. A couple of readers say they were headed for scrapping.

Meanwhile, a sigh of relief to those in town working on MBTA Communities zoning compliance. Apparently the Orange Line trains weren’t here to stay.

orange line
Orange line trains coming through (Photo courtesy of Tim Lysaght)


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