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Catania Spagna project in Ayer among 5 chosen

BOSTON — MassDOT has announced the awarding of five grants totaling just over $2 million for industrial rail projects as part of the 2015 Industrial Rail Access Program (IRAP).

Among the grants awarded: $500,000 to Catania Spagna for rail siding track expansion and unloading improvements on Nemco Way in Ayer.

This most recent freight service expansion project is in addition to $240,000 in IRAP funds awarded in 2014 to upgrade track serving Nemco Way Industrial Park.

Created as part of the 2012 Transportation Bond Bill, IRAP provides grants to railroads, rail shippers and municipalities that identify a public benefit gained through improved rail transportation usage or economic growth that would be realized through improved access to rail assets.

The IRAP funding for the five projects is being matched by more than $1.7 million in private sector funds for a total $3.7 million investment in freight rail improvements in the third year of the IRAP program.

“The IRAP program is an example of government working with the private sector to solve a problem. We are glad to have the opportunity to improve rail access and support industrial uses. It is truly a “win-win,” said Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack.

The five 2015 IRAP recipients represent a variety of projects meeting the program objective of improving the rail network while boosting economic growth. Recipients and the state grant awarded are as follows:

* Catania Spagna — $500,000: Ayer, Pan Am Railways rail siding track expansion and unloading improvements.

* Borden & Remington Corp. — $383,910: Fall River, Coastal RR rail siding rehab and expansion, safety and unloading dock improvements.

* Pioneer Valley Railroad — $175,045: Westfield, Pioneer Valley RR installation of new rail siding at Railroad Distribution Services facility.

* MWRA/Fore River Railroad Corp. — $500,000: Quincy, Fore River Railroad mainline track realignment/capacity improvements at Fore River Shipyard.

* Providence & Worcester Railroad — $455,691: Worcester, P&W Railroad Southbridge Street Yard Wye Track.

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