BOSTON — As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s commitment to the South Coast Rail economic development and transportation project, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has closed on the legal transaction with CSX Transportation to acquire the rail lines necessary for the restoration of commuter rail service between Boston and the South Coast region.

"This is another important step towards bringing commuter rail to the South Coast to create jobs, reduce pollution, and relieve traffic congestion,” said Senator John Kerry. “It will link the economies, businesses, and homes of New Bedford and Fall River with Boston. Since 2005, we obtained more than $30 million in federal funding for this project from Congress because we know what it will do for our economy and our environment."

The newly acquired 30 miles of track run from Cotley Junction in Taunton, Mass. to Fall River, Mass. and New Bedford, Mass. As part of the agreement, the Commonwealth now controls the tracks and will be able to dispatch passenger trains once the South Coast Rail line begins operation.

In another major milestone for South Coast Rail, a new request for proposals was released on Thursday, June 10, for the reconstruction of three rail bridges in New Bedford, Mass. In February, the Obama Administration awarded MassDOT $20 million in competitive stimulus TIGER funds to replace the deteriorating railroad bridges. Bridge construction will begin in the fall.

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