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Massachusetts spends stimulus dollars on MBTA trackwork laborers


Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick recently announced the state will use stimulus funds to hire 15 track laborers to help upgrade a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) commuter-rail line.

The $9 million project, which is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and state’s recovery plan, calls for modernizing the Fitchburg line along MBTA’s 50-mile corridor from Fitchburg to Boston. The line is the longest in MBTA’s system in terms of distance and travel time.

The project will enable the authority to increase capacity and provide faster travel times on the line, according to MBTA. The authority has applied for additional stimulus funds to complete double tracking on the line, which would boost train speeds up to 80 mph, improve on-time performance up to 12 percent, and reduce operating and maintenance costs, MBTA officials said in a prepared statement.

Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad retains a contract to operate and maintain MBTA’s commuter-rail network.

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More News from 11/17/2009