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Rail News: Passenger Rail

CSXT, Massachusetts hammer out multi-year transportation agreement


The commonwealth of Massachusetts and CSX Transportation recently reached a multi-year transportation agreement. Under the pact, the commonwealth will purchase the property rights of the Boston-Worcester line from CSXT, opening the door for additional commuter-rail service on the route and providing the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) control of dispatching and line maintenance.

The agreement also calls for:
• CSXT and the commonwealth to increase bridges’ vertical clearances along a mainline between I-495 and the New York state line to accommodate double-stack trains (Massachusetts will be responsible for raising highway bridges and the railroad will be responsible for lowering tracks);
• the commonwealth to help CSXT relocate its Beacon Park Yard operations in Boston to facilitate redevelopment efforts;
• the commonwealth to purchase the New Bedford-Fall River line from CSXT, as well as obtain the Boston Terminal running track, West First Street Yard in south Boston and the Class I’s ownership of the Grand Junction secondary line; and
• the parties to work together to install positive train control, and operate freight and passenger trains in exclusive windows as often as possible.

In addition, CSXT will help defray MBTA’s liability insurance cost and pay the deductible on a liability insurance policy if an accident occurs and the Class I is considered at fault because of “willful misconduct,” according to a prepared statement.

“In addition to [providing more] commuter service, the plan will give the commonwealth a double-stack freight-rail route that will help alleviate congestion on Massachusetts highways,” said CSX Corp. Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Ward.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/24/2009