The following information was released by the office of the governor of Massachusetts:
Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today joined state and local officials and CSX Transportation to celebrate the start of construction on 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.
This project will create more than 450 jobs in 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.
Over the last several years, CSX has worked closely with state, local and federal officials to help see this project through fruition, said Lieutenant Governor Murray. We now celebrate another major milestone in our joint efforts to make freight and commuter rail expansion a reality here in Worcester. By investing in this region's transit system, we are building a stronger link between Worcester and Boston that will lead to improved freight service for regional businesses, improved service for commuters and increased access to jobs and economic development in the Commonwealth.
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. With more trains in operation, this development will also lead to a cleaner environment and reduced congestion on Massachusetts roads.
Lieutenant 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.
"Today's groundbreaking is a real milestone in our efforts to expand rail service in Central Massachusetts, said Congressman James McGovern. This project is good for our economy and for the quality of life of our residents. I want to commend the Patrick-Murray Administration for all of their tremendous work."
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. Through the agreement, 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.
CSX commends Governor Patrick for his vision and leadership on this partnership. Today's groundbreaking represents an important milestone on the path to creating jobs and positioning central Massachusetts to compete in a global economy all while helping make commutes easier and providing for cleaner air, said Lisa Mancini, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Labor Relations at CSX. Over the last two years, CSX, Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray and the entire Patrick-Murray Administration have worked closely with Worcester city officials to create solutions that work for the Worcester community and CSX's customers.
Maurice O'Connell, Vice President Government Relations at CSX added, "We appreciate the time and energy the state, city and especially the community has given to this process. This is a better project because of the input we received. CSX is proud to call Worcester home. We look forward to our continued efforts in the community, including our 3rd annual Trees for Tracks initiative and partnership with the Worcester Tree Initiative next weekend."
"This project will be a benefit both to Worcester residents and business owners," said Senator Michael O. Moore. "I want to applaud Lieutenant Governor Murray and other officials who worked so diligently to pursue this expansion, which will bring an increased business presence into the heart of Worcester and improve commuter rail service to and from Boston."
"This groundbreaking has been a longtime coming with lots of local, state and federal level discussions regarding the fulfillment of this long-term transportation plan. This new rail facility will have a great impact on Central Massachusetts as well as on the rest of the Commonwealth, and I will look forward the fruition of this project." said Representative Jim O'Day.
"This has been a tremendous partnership between the Commonwealth, CSX and the City of Worcester," said Worcester City Manager Michael O'Brien. "This development is key to the future of our city, linking centers of economic growth and creating jobs."
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