Amtrak, MBTA reach new agreement on Attleboro Line operations

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WASHINGTON — Amtrak and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority have reached a new agreement concerning passenger railroad operations and maintenance on the 37.9-mile Attleboro Line connecting Boston and the Rhode Island state line.

The new agreement calls on Amtrak to provide maintenance-of-way and dispatching services on the route through 2021.

The latest agreement ends a dispute with the applicability of the federal passenger rail investment and improvement act of 2008, which according to Section 212, created the Northeast Corridor Commission and mandated the development of the commuter and intercity rail cost allocation policy.

The policy is designed to provide a consistent methodology for calculating and assessing costs for all users of the corridor.

Amtrak and MBTA have operated under the 2003 Attleboro Line agreement, which governs the shared use of the rail line in Massachusetts. The line is part of the Northeast Corridor.

While Amtrak will dispatch and maintain the route, the Boston-based transit agency will assume responsibility for directing the capital program. Both Amtrak and the MBTA will contribute to capital projects and operating costs in accordance with Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act and the cost allocation policy.

Amtrak is allowing MBTA officials to use Boston’s South Station facility for dispatching of the south-end branch lines.

See the news release online.

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