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Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Murray, FRA's Szabo announce Knowledge Corridor project


Yesterday, Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray, Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo and U.S. Rep. John Olver (D-Mass.) joined federal, state and local leaders to announce plans to revitalize the “Knowledge Corridor” along the Connecticut River rail line in western Massachusetts.

Funded by $73 million in federal stimulus grants, the project calls for improving the Connecticut River mainline of Pan Am Southern L.L.C., a joint venture railroad controlled by Pan Am Railways and Norfolk Southern Railway. On June 30, MassDOT signed agreements with the Federal Railroad Administration to proceed with the Knowledge Corridor project to revitalize the Connecticut River line, which runs from Connecticut through Massachusetts to Vermont. The project will restore Amtrak’s Vermonter service to the line to provide a more direct route, faster service, and restored access to the cities of Greenfield and Northampton, Mass.

Revitalization of the Knowledge Corridor route will restore the original route of the Vermonter traveling between St. Albans, Vermont and Washington, D.C., Massachusetts officials said. The work also will improve freight service for customers along the line and within western Massachusetts, according to a prepared statement from Murray’s office.

The project is scheduled to begin in 2012 and be completed in two years.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has designated the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s Design and Construction Department to oversee the project’s implementation through final design and construction. The department has entered into a construction agreement with Pan Am Southern to construct the project.

“By partnering with the Obama administration, our congressional delegation and New England states on the Knowledge Corridor project, we are working toward a significantly improved transportation service for both passengers and freight service in this region,” Murray said in a prepared statement.

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More News from 10/21/2011