BOSTON (SHNS) – Were you hoping that enjoying a cup of coffee and perhaps a slice of pie inside a former Orange Line train might exorcise all those memories of inexplicable delays, unidentifiable odors and fellow riders who don’t take off their backpacks? Sorry. You’re probably out of luck.
The oldest cars on the Orange Line, some of which date back to the Carter administration, are headed for the scrapyard, where they will be dismantled and an accredited contractor, Costello, will work to dispose of components like caulking and undercoating that contain hazardous materials. And because crews have to disassemble the trains to get those components out, converting one of the vehicles for a more creative, stationary use is pretty much off the table.
“We’ve gotten lots of inquiries from people who want to buy one or (ask) why can’t you turn it into a diner, why can’t you do this, why can’t you do that,” MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said Thursday. “Really, our priority is safety, of course, and compliance with the (Department of Environmental Protection) requirements, so that’s why we’re scrapping them through an accredited facility that can process them.”
Twenty cars have been identified to be scrapped, and another 100 could follow when more newly manufactured Orange Line vehicles roll into service, Poftak said. Not all of those oldest cars are necessarily doomed, though: Poftak said the T has offered two vehicles to the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine, which describes itself as “the first and largest Electric Railway Museum in the world.”
The museum has not yet confirmed if it will accept that offer, according to Poftak. “I don’t believe there is a personal or commercial opportunity to purchase these vehicles,” he said. “If there is a commercial opportunity, we’ll take advantage of it.”