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Rail News: CSX Transportation

Massachusetts prepares to take over CSX track for commuter-rail expansion


Earlier this week, Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray released a progress report on the state's efforts to transform its rail network as a result of its "historic" agreement with CSX Transportation to acquire track.

Titled, "Transforming the Rail Network for Economic and Community Development," the report provides an overview of accomplishments since the CSXT agreement was signed two years ago. The compact is being finalized in two parts: the first was the initial closing in June 2010, and the second closing is scheduled for early October. The second closing will enable the state to take over 45 miles of CSXT track between Boston and Worcester, state officials said in a statement posted yesterday on Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick's website.

Assuming control of the track will support:

• An expansion of commuter-rail service to the Metrowest/Worcester areas via ownership and control of the rail line between Framingham and Worcester;
• The restoration of commuter-rail service to the South Coast via ownership of rail lines that run from Boston to New Bedford and Fall River;
• The raising of clearances on rail bridges from Westborough to the New York state line to accommodate double-stack intermodal trains; and
• The relocation of CSXT’s operations from Beacon Park Yard in Boston to yards in Westborough, Worcester and West Springfield.

With the second closing, the transaction between CSXT and the state will be completed, with the state paying the Class I $100 million for 45 miles of the Framingham/Worcester commuter-rail line between Boston and Worcester; 37 miles of lines running south from Taunton to Fall River and New Bedford; eight miles known as the Grand Junction, which runs from Allston, across the Charles River, through Cambridge, Charlestown, Everett and Chelsea; and two miles known as the Boston Terminal Running Track, which extends from Dorcester to South  Boston, and includes the West First Street Yard.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/19/2012