Lt. Governor Timothy Murray leads the administration’s efforts on a transformative program that will expand the economic impact of freight rail across Massachusetts, enhance commuter rail service to the west and south, improve air-quality and congestion by reducing car and truck traffic on the highways, and open up the potential for one of the most significant redevelopment projects in Boston’s history. This initiative is shaped by a landmark agreement with CSX Corporation, a national railroad carrier, that Lt. Governor Murray negotiated, in concert with state and federal officials.
In September 2012, Lieutenant Governor Murray released a progress report, titled: Transforming the Rail Network for Economic and Community Development file size 1MB that provides an extensive overview of accomplishments achieved across the state as a result of the historic agreement with CSX.
Among the range of investments across the state, the historic agreement between the Commonwealth and CSX Corporation is the most transformative with significant impacts to freight and rail service in Central Massachusetts, Metrowest, Western Massachusetts, Boston and South Coast regions. The compact is being finalized in two parts, beginning with an initial closing in June of 2010, which set the entire project in motion, including the permitting processes and infrastructure work needed to allow for the relocation of CSX operations.
The second closing, scheduled for early October will complete the full transaction and allow for:
- Expanding commuter rail service to the Metrowest/Worcester areas by taking ownership and control of the rail line between Framingham and Worcester.
- Raising the railroad bridge clearances from Westborough to the New York State line to allow, for the first time in state history, the double-stacking of full-size freight containers on trains serving Massachusetts. This will increase freight capacity, reduce costs, and give Massachusetts companies better access to national and Asian markets.
- Making possible the eventual restoration of commuter rail service to the South Coast by taking ownership of the rail lines that run from Boston to New Bedford and Fall River.
- Relocating the CSX freight rail operations now in Boston at the Beacon Park Yard, to rail yards in Westborough, Worcester and West Springfield. This relocation will allow for the redevelopment of an 80+- acre parcel along the Charles River to serve as a new gateway district for the city.
With the second closing, the full transaction will be complete and in total, the Commonwealth will pay CSX $100 million for:
- 45 miles of the Framingham/Worcester Commuter Rail line between Boston and Worcester
- 37 miles of rail lines running south from Taunton to Fall River and New Bedford
- 8 miles known as the Grand Junction, which runs from Allston, across the Charles River, through Cambridge, Charlestown, Everett and Chelsea
- 2 miles known as the Boston Terminal Running Track which extends from Dorchester to South Boston, and including the West First Street Yard