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MBTA and Amtrak settle dispute over Attleboro line

The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority and Amtrak have settled a dispute over track maintenance in Attleboro that threatened to cut rail service from Boston to New York and other points along the Northeast Corridor.

Under an agreement announced Friday, the MBTA will pay Amtrak about $20 million per year, starting in February and continuing until September, 2022, to provide daily maintenance on the Attleboro line, according to a press release issued by the T.

The MBTA will also assume control of capital program for the line, and provisions will be made to enhance services for customers. The MBTA and Amtrak will both contribute to capital projects, the release stated.


The agreement resolves a lawsuit filed by the MBTA last January, after the federally subsidized transit service demanded the T pay nearly $30 million per year to help maintain the railway between the Rhode Island border and South Station as part of a new multi-state policy.

The MBTA claimed that it should not have to pay Amtrak, because a 2003 operating agreement allowed Amtrak to use the Attleboro tracks for free in exchange for providing maintenance and dispatch services.

“The MBTA and Amtrak are pleased to have reached this mutually beneficial settlement and look forward to working together to provide customers with safe and reliable service,” the press release stated.

Martha Schick can be reached at martha.schick@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @MarthaSchick.