Amtrak and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in the US have signed a new agreement for the operation, maintenance and use of the 37.9mi Attleboro Line, which runs between Boston and the Rhode Island state line.
Amtrak provide maintenance-of-way and dispatching services on the line up to 2021 as part of the arrangement, while MBTA will be responsible for managing the capital programme.
The latest agreement puts an end to a dispute over the federal Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) of 2008, Section 212, which created the Northeast Corridor Commission and called for the creation of a ‘Commuter and Intercity Rail Cost Allocation Policy’.
The policy was jointly developed by all the owners and operators of rail services from Boston to Washington, and provides a consistent methodology for calculating and analysing costs for Northeast Corridor users.
Amtrak Infrastructure Access and Investment assistant vice-president Tom Moritz said: “The joint effort of Amtrak and MBTA to reach this new agreement demonstrates our shared recognition of the importance of continued investment in the rail infrastructure in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and throughout the New England region.”
Amtrak also stated that it will allow MBTA to use South Station’s system to dispatch the south-end branch lines.
MBTA will pay a charge based on the proportionate sharing of facility and system costs in return for access to the site.
Both parties will also continue to contribute to capital project and operating costs in compliance with the PRIIA and Cost Allocation Policy.
MBTA and Amtrak have been operating on the line according to 2003 Attleboro Line agreement.