The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has agreed to provide $75m to renovate the 50-mile Fitchburg line – one of the oldest and slowest train lines in Massachusetts.

The scope of work involves improvement of track and high-level platforms, replacement and updating of grade crossing warning systems, construction of new and modified interlocking, bridge repair, and replacement and transfer of the Waltham Tower to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority control centre.

The improvement will allow trains to run at 79mph, providing better rail connections for 17 communities and 18 stations.

The Fitchburg Line will also receive $59.2m from the USDOT’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER I) programme.

The entire project will cost $159m and is expected to be completed by 2015.

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