Three Central Massachusetts companies have been awarded grants designed to increase access to industry-based rail infrastructure, the state Department of Transportation announced Monday.
The awards were part of a $2.7 million grant package from the Industrial Rail Access Program to enhance rail and freight access, economic opportunity, and job growth. Applicants must match at least 40% of a project’s total cost, according to MassDOT.
Locally, 2019 recipients include:
• Mass Central Railroad, $30,000.
Two boxcars will be purchased and used to shuttle paper between a warehouse in South Barre and Kanzaki Specialty Paper in Ware, reducing truck trips. Mass Central Railroad is providing 40% of the project cost.
• MHF Services, $148,500.
The project will provide additional capacity in the Worcester yard and the facility owned by MHF Services so that more bulk cargo can be handled efficiently by rail. The project is expected to allow 200 more rail cars to be handled annually, eliminating 900 truck trips each year. MHF is providing a 40% match.
• United Material Management, $500,000.
Loading equipment will be built at a new facility in Leominster. The equipment will allow loading of municipal solid waste to be transported by rail, generating an additional 1,560 rail car trips and removing 6,240 long-distance truck trips annually.