Boston-South Coast rail link takes step forward

Boston, MA – Massachusetts has closed a $100 million deal that includes the purchase of nearly 40 miles of rail lines as part of a plan to build a commuter rail link from Boston to Fall River and New Bedford.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said that construction on the commuter rail, not expected to be completed for another six or seven years, will begin this summer with refurbishing of several freight bridges in the New Bedford area.

That work is expected to create between 200 and 300 jobs and should be completed by early 2012.

The $100 million deal announced Thursday also includes the purchase of about 8 miles of track in the Allston-Brighton area of Boston.

The Army Corps of Engineers is expected to make recommendations for their preferred path for the estimated $1.4 billion rail project by the fall.