Cape-based Massachusetts Coastal Railroad to expand freight service

Staff reports

Massachusetts Coastal Railroad, a subsidiary of Hyannis-based Cape Rail, Inc. will acquire nearly 33 additional miles of railroad lines on the South Coast.

Cape Rail, Inc. annoucned Wednesday it had entered into agreements with CSX Transportation (CSXT) and the state for the purchase of CSXT freight rail operating rights on the New Bedford and Fall River rail lines, known as the "South Coast Lines."

The addition of the nearly 33 miles of railroad lines brings Mass Coastal's current operations to nearly 100 miles in Eastern Massachusetts.

In a press release Wednesday, the Patrick-Murray administration applauded the agreement.

"The freight agreement with Mass Coastal and purchase of the lines are important steps forward in the plan to reconstruct the lines to bring passenger rail service to the South Coast, including Fall River and New Bedford, and provide the foundation for sustained freight rail service and economic development within this important region of the Commonwealth."

CSXT currently handles approximately 2,000 rail cars over the South Coast lines, which equated to taking 7,000 truck trips off of the region's roadways and highways.

According to the Cape Rail, Inc press release, Mass Coastal intends to intensify efforts to increase the number of rail cars to and from customers on the lines.

The transition of rail lines to Mass Coastal is scheduled to occur on May 14, 2010.

The Register