Former Orange Line trains will not be sold or turned into restaurants, MBTA says

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Train enthusiasts may be disappointed to learn that the MBTA is not presenting any offers for the sale of its old Orange Line cars, which are slowly heading for scrap.

“We’ve had many requests from people who want to buy one, or why can’t you make a restaurant out of it?” said MBTA Chief Executive Steve Poftak. “Why can’t you do that?” Why can’t you do this? Really, our priority is safety, of course, in accordance with the requirements (from the Ministry of Environmental Protection).

“So that’s why we dispose of them at an accredited facility that can process them according to state DEP requirements,” he said at a recent board meeting.

The MBTA has contracted with Costello Dismantling Co. to dismantle the railcars, remove hazardous materials, and dispose of them properly. Due to the teardown, Poftak said the vehicles are not in “salable condition.”

The old train cars date from 1978 and are being scrapped at Costello’s Middleboro plant to make way for the T’s new orange line fleet. Twenty were pulled from Wellington Yard last month, and the process is will continue until next year until all 118 cars have been eliminated.

Board member Travis McCready urged Poftak to consider pursuing additional sales opportunities with companies, such as The Verb Hotel in Boston, who want to use “vehicles like this for hospitality purposes.” “.

According to The Verb Hotel’s website, the luxury trailers near Fenway Park offer a unique overnight experience that’s “designed to reflect the adventure of life on the road.”

Poftak said he saw the trailers while attending a Red Sox game and said the T would take advantage of the trade opportunity, should it become available.

The MBTA has already offered the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunk, Maine, a chance to purchase two of the former Orange Line cars, but the expense may prove too prohibitive, according to its president and CEO, Jim Schantz.

“What normally happens when they pull out a major type of car, our museum will keep a sample,” Schantz told the Herald last month. “That’s what we’ve done over the years and we think about it with this type of situation.”

Schantz said the cost of transporting the two cars would likely exceed the $16,000 needed to truck a similarly sized Green Line train from Boston about a decade ago.

A major fundraising effort will be needed, but he said he was “torn” over the issue because of the many similar Blue Line trains at the museum.

“It’s a tough decision,” Schantz said.

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