WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — The ceremony was brief, but Tuesday's ribbon cutting at the $24 million TRANSFLO facility on the CSX railroad line represented long-awaited progress to Lt. Governor Tim Murray.
"The deal with CSX and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is really the first of its kind," Murray said. "If we are going to maximize the use our rail network, which we need to in the United States – especially in the Northeast – we're going to need more of these partnerships."
The 22-acre, state-of-the-art bulk transfer facility was built within the footprint of an existing CSX unloading station. The collaborative project is part of the "historic" agreement, signed in 2008, intended to expand commuter and freight rail service within Massachusetts, strengthen transportation infrastructure and improve the state's standing in domestic and international markets through the enhancement of product shipments.
The bulk transfer facility will handle commodities such as corn syrup, plastic pellets and industrial substances.
"We're all focused on safety, but we want to utilize the rail more," Murray said. "That means there are more goods that can be shipped and more people we can move. Taking trucks and cars off the road is a good thing."
The project brought more than 100 construction jobs to Westborough over the past years, and will create eight full-time jobs on-site at the plant.
Malloy, who introduced Murray at the event and participated in the ribbon cutting, said this project is beneficial for Westborough in terms of the economy and jobs.
"One of the benefits of having the facility here in town is that it will be a gain for the entire MetroWest and Worcester region." Malloy said.
"[The project] took a property that was not being used at all and put it back into a really positive use."
The dedication to increased rail service from the 2008 agreement has included recent additions to the commuter rail service, including expanded service in October.
The facility, relocated from Beacon Park Yard in Boston, is twice the size of its former space. CSX also is relocating its intermodal operations from Beacon Park Yard to a modern facility in Worcester, and has expanded its facility in West Springfield.
Lisa Mancini, vice president and chief administrative officer of CSX, said she couldn't have been happier with how smoothly the process went, and was very grateful to Westborough officials who helped the project along.
"We are proud to have facilities like this, and, as we open these facilities, they look better than they ever did," Mancini said. "I think they have a better footprint within the community."