Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has approved the award of the US$159m (£129m) contract for the Fall River Secondary package.
The contracting team will build two new commuter rail stations in Freetown and Fall River. The contract package also includes a layover facility for train storage in Fall River at Weaver’s Cove. The site will also have an 1,800-square-foot crew building and parking areas for employees. Other aspects of the Fall River Secondary contract include work on twelve miles of track and eight rail bridges.
When complete in autumn 2023, Phase 1 of South Coast Rail will connect southeastern Massachusetts and Boston, providing riders with a one-seat trip from Taunton, Fall River and New Bedford to Boston in less than ninety minutes.
Close to US$100m has been spent on construction work, real estate acquisitions, vehicle procurement and related design and management work since South Coast Rail’s groundbreaking in July 2019.
“The awarding of this contract makes it abundantly clear to everyone that we are going to be running passenger train service in the near future between the South Coast and Boston,” said Massachusetts Department of Transportaton secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “This contract installs or repairs track infrastructure, train layover space, grade crossings, bridges, parking lots and stations. This contract continues us on a path forward to beginning passenger train service in late 2023.”
MBTA general manager Steve Poftak said: “This contract award means two brand new, accessible stations built in Freetown and Fall River, a brand new layover facility with six storage tracks, and key infrastructure work on rail bridges, grade crossings, and a dozen miles of track.”
Representative Bill Straus, house chair of the legislature’s transportation committee addedL “While the project has remained on pace during the last year with several early-action track and drainage improvements, the award of this size construction contract is further proof that restoring rail service to Boston for New Bedford and Fall River continues, even during these uncertain times. Further contracts for the New Bedford line are expected quite soon.”