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[Editor's note: This story was updated after its original posting.]
Amtrak and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) have reached a new agreement for the operation, maintenance and use of the 37.9-mile Attleboro Line between Boston and the Rhode Island state border. Under the contract, Amtrak will provide maintenance-of-way and dispatching services through 2021. For its part, the MBTA will be responsible for directing the line's capital program. In addition, Amtrak will allow the MBTA to use the South Station's system for dispatching of south-end branch lines. Amtrak will charge the transit agency for its use of the facilities based on a proportionate sharing of facility and system costs, Amtrak officials said in a press release."The joint effort of Amtrak and MBTA to reach this new agreement demonstrates our shared recognition of the importance of continued investment in the rail infrastructure in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and throughout the New England region," said Tom Moritz, Amtrak assistant vice president of infrastructure access and investment.The agreement ends a dispute over the federal Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) of 2008, which created the Northeast Corridor Commission and mandated the development of the "Commuter and Intercity Rail Cost Allocation Policy."Both Amtrak and the MBTA will contribute to capital projects and operating costs consistent with the PRIIA and Cost Allocation Policy.Jointly developed by all rail owners and operators in the Northeast Corridor, the policy was meant to provide consistent methodology for calculating and assessing costs for all users of the Northeast Corridor.The MBTA and Amtrak have operated under the 2003 Attleboro Line Agreement, which governs the shared use of the rail line in Massachusetts.
The Northeast Corridor accommodates about 2,200 Amtrak, commuter and freight trains each day.
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