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MBTA New Wheel Boring Machine, January 2016A modern, $1.2 million Simmons wheel-boring machine went into service this week at the MBTA Everett Maintenance Facility.

Designed for use on wheels for all types of trains, the equipment replaces an old machine that was originally built in 1927. The new equipment cuts metal and can operate three-to-five times faster than its Prohibition-Era predecessor. This will allow maintenance teams to shave hours off work times.

The wheel-boring machine can be adjusted to cut metal to within the size of a human hair. It can be used on trains operating throughout the T’s entire transit system, from Green Line trolleys to Orange and Blue Line cars to the Red Line’s Big Red high-capacity trains.

Old Wheel Boring Machine

Old Wheel Boring Machine

A second machine will be arriving within the next one to two months. These machines are critical tools in building safe axle sets to support proper service.

“We learned last winter that in addition to structural reforms, the MBTA needs meaningful improvements to its snow resiliency efforts, including upgrades to infrastructure, operations and equipment,” said MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola. “These machines will allow for more efficient maintenance work and quicker turn-around times for getting trains back into service.”


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