Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today joined state and local officials and CSX Transportation to celebrate the start of construction of the $100 million expansion of CSX’s rail facility in Worcester. The groundbreaking marks an important milestone in the comprehensive multi-year rail transportation agreement between the Commonwealth and CSX, designed to expand commuter rail service, strengthen the state’s transportation infrastructure, and improve the Commonwealth’s competitive position in the global economy.
The project will create more than 450 jobs for Massachusetts, including an estimated 380 construction jobs and 80 long-term positions once the facility opens.
“Expanding commuter rail service to Worcester is a critical component of our Administration’s economic development agenda,” said Governor Patrick. “Today’s groundbreaking ceremony brings us one step closer to improving transportation service and increasing opportunities for business growth and job creation between Worcester and Boston.”
Today’s groundbreaking will lead to the development of a state-of-the-art ‘green’ terminal that will provide more shipping options for Massachusetts and New England businesses. Additionally, this new terminal will create more options for commuters and increased trains along the Worcester / Framingham line to Boston’s South Station.
Lt. Governor Murray, who has been working on this agreement since he was Mayor of Worcester, led the negotiations for this agreement on behalf of the Administration with critical support from U.S. Senator John Kerry, and Congressman McGovern.
Through the agreement, finalized in 2009, the Commonwealth purchased the property rights of the Boston to Worcester rail line from CSX, to accommodate increased freight and passenger service along the rail, while also taking control of dispatching and maintenance on the line. The MBTA has already been able to add five Framingham-Boston commuter trains to Worcester on CSX’s Boston line.
The transaction also allowed for the state to purchase the New Bedford-Fall River Line from CSX, as well as the Boston Terminal track and West First Street Yard in South Boston. The acreage required for the expansion was acquired by CSX through direct negotiation with the land owners.