• MassDOT completes acquisition of Worcester/Framingham commuter line


    BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced Wednesday the MBTA and its Commuter Rail contractor (MBCR) have completed the final steps in their acquisition of the CSX rail lines on which Worcester/Framingham commuter trains travel.

    According to MassDOT, the transition has multiple benefits including direct control of all trains and maintenance along the 45 mile line, greater flexibility managing trains in emergency situations, and significant improvements in direct communication with train crews.

    "By taking over the dispatching duties this week, the state can now give absolute priority to passenger service along the line," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey.

    Dispatchers will now have the ability to communicate directly with train crews making it easier to turn an 'express' train into a 'local' or a 'local' train into an 'express' train. In addition, priority will be given to commuter trains over freight trains and extra trains can be dispatched without having to deal with paperwork ensuring overall improved conditions for passengers.

    The dispatching aspect is among the final elements of the agreement between CSX and the state, which took ownership of the railroad right-of-way last year.

    The MBTA remains on schedule to increase to 20 the number of roundtrip's between Worcester and Boston this year.

    As part of the Massachusetts State Rail Plan, the Patrick administration has strategically invested close to $1 billion in the state's rail system through competitive grants, public funds and private sector capital.

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