What is the Rail & Transit Division?

The Rail and Transit Division provides oversight and manages funding for all 15 Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs), offers several competitive grant programs, and manages freight, passenger, and seasonal rail lines across the state. The competitive grant programs offered by MassDOT include: the Community Transit Grant Program, which provides funding for lift-equipped accessible vehicles and technical assistance; and the Intercity Bus Program, which awards subsidy to intercity bus providers operating routes in rural regions in MA. MassDOT owns 14 rail lines (totaling 285 miles of track), 165 bridges, 747 culverts, 314 at-grade crossings, and 12 rail yards, working cooperatively with Amtrak Read More

MassDOT Rail Performance

The MassDOT Rail & Transit Division manages freight, passenger, and seasonal rail lines across the state and maintains its rail assets. This includes overseeing the administration of former and current railroad property, supporting logistics efforts to reduce trucks on the road by shipping more goods via rail, and increasing the safety and reliability of rail traffic through grade crossing improvements. The Division’s property staff handles Chapter 40/54A administrative hearings to address the use of former railroad property and to ensure the safety of rail travel during new building construction near railroad rights-of-way. Part of this involves the issuance of 50-100 Read More

Rail Safety & System Condition

The MassDOT Rail & Transit Division manages freight, passenger, and seasonal rail lines across the state and maintains its rail assets. Rail & Transit develops and periodically updates its Asset Management Plan. The most recent version was published in 2019. The Division is actively updating the plan, which is expected to be completed in early 2024. Regardless of the formal publication, asset conditions are evaluated and updated annually for internal planning purposes. The results of those assessments are published in the MassDOT Tracker. This section presents information on the condition of the MassDOT-owned rail assets, as well as rail safety Read More

Healthy and Sustainable Transportation

MassDOT-owned rail is utilized by the MBTA and Amtrak to provide transit services to the region. Currently, the MBTA Commuter Rail uses 82 miles of MassDOT owned rail to provide its service and Amtrak uses 94.3 miles. MassDOT also contributes support to Amtrak’s Vermonter and Hartford services. Ridership on the Vermonter reached 35,173 in FY23, which was a 36% increase from FY22. The Hartford Line had an annual ridership increase of 29% to 135,141 in FY23. Additionally, beginning in 2022, MassDOT initiated the Berkshire Flyer Pilot Service, which is a seasonal Amtrak-operated intercity passenger rail service operated on weekends between Read More

Budget & Capital Performance

The percent of capital dollars spent by the end of the fiscal year refers to the portion of the capital budget that was utilized compared to what was budgeted in MassDOT’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). In FY23, rail programs spent 81% of the original amount budgets in the CIP. Though this metric falls short of the 95% target set for the program, it is a 22 percentage-point increase from FY22 expenditures and near normal spending level compared to the last 5 years.