An expanded commuter rail schedule and more frequent freight trains will come out of a new, state-of-the-art facility that opened today in Westborough, Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray said.
CSX invested more than $20 million in the TRANSFLO bulk commodity transfer site at 19 Walkup Drive, relocating the operations from Beacon Park Yard in Boston, the Patrick administration said. The move created about 106 construction jobs, with plans for eigh permanent full-time jobs there, the administration said.
The agreement between the Commonwealth and CSX is “really the first of its kind in the nation," Murray said. The multi-phasee deal was first reached in 2009 and includes CSX expanding its West Springfield facility, the administration said.
Murray said three trains recently were added to the Framingham-Worcester line, “and by next October, there will be 20 roundtrips and several express trains between Worcester and Boston and points in between, which will benefit Westborough and the MetroWest area." The Framingham-Worcester line includes the Westborugh commuter rail station.
Murray said that “31 percent of the residents living near the Framingham-Worcester line, work in Boston or Cambridge, rely on transit for their commute.”
"There’s a benefit in terms of giving commuters more options, more dependability, and it takes cars off the Mass Pike and the roads," he said after a ribbon cutting at the facility.
“Now that we own it, we’ll be able to invest in it. So, it’ll be more dependable. We’ll be able to shorten the commuter times of the trains. We’re going to control the dispatching, the signalization. We already are planning some investments in the rail and upgrading the signalization.”
Murray added that “what it means from a commercial point of view is you’ve got a first class facility now that will allow more products and goods to come here. That means jobs, and more affordable price points for businesses that use the TRANSFLO operation."
He said that “38 percent of all freight traveling throughout New England travels through Massachusetts.”
The Westborough facility will take goods delivered by rail and “transfer them to trucks for delivery to communities all across New England that do not have access to rail," Murray said.
CSX Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Lisa Mancini thank Town Manager Jim Malloy, Town Planner Jim Robbins, Fire Chief Nick Perron, Police Chief Alan Gordon, and conservation commission for their support of the project.
The investment will “not only improve the condition of this site, but we’re improving the condition of the great Cedar Swamp," she said.
“As we open these facilities, they look better than they ever did, and I think have a better footprint within the community,” Mancini said.
CSX Vice President-Emerging Markets Derek Smith said he visited the site “when we were just talking about the possibility of coming here, and there was nothing out here except cracked pavement and maybe a few weeds and some grass."
“And then, you look out today and see a marvelous facility that we know will be safely operated. We plan on being a very very good community partner for many years to come," Smith said.