Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Amtrak, MBTA enter new service agreement for Attleboro Line

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Amtrak will continue to provide maintenance-of-way and dispatching services to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Attleboro Line through 2021.

The agreement, which governs the operation and maintenance of use of the 37.9-mile line, ends a dispute over applicability of the federal Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) of 2008, Section 212, which created the Northeast Corridor Commission and mandated the development of the 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, D.C., and is meant to provide a consistent methodology for calculating and assessing costs for all users of the Northeast Corridor.

MBTA and Amtrak have operated under the 2003 Attleboro Line Agreement, which governs the shared use of the rail line in Massachusetts. The line is part of the Northeast Corridor, the busiest rail corridor in North America, with approximately 2,200 Amtrak, commuter and freight trains operating on some portion of the Washington-Boston route each day.

"The MBTA is pleased to have reached this agreement with Amtrak, signaling our collaborative efforts and mutual interests in maintaining world-class service for all rail customers through the Northeast Corridor," said Interim MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. "We look forward to working cooperatively with Amtrak now and in the future."

The MBTA now assumes responsibility for directing the capital program on the Attleboro Line. MBTA and Amtrak will contribute to capital projects and operating costs in a manner consistent with PRIIA and the Cost Allocation Policy.

Amtrak will allow the MBTA to use South Station's system for dispatching of the south-end branch lines, charging for its use of these facilities based on a proportionate sharing of facility and system costs.