Amtrak and the MBTA are battling in court over who should pay maintenance costs

An MBTA commuter rail train sits idle above the Southeast Expressway in Boston, as signaling problems made it difficult for trains to reach South Station on Thursday.
An MBTA commuter rail train sits idle above the Southeast Expressway in Boston, as signaling problems made it difficult for trains to reach South Station on Thursday. –John Blanding / The Boston Globe

Who is financially responsible for maintenance repairs on the MBTA?

Thursday’s chaos over the broken Amtrak signal at South Station is an example of the types of maintenance repairs Amtrak should foot the bill for, according to a lawsuit the MBTA filed against Amtrak last month, reports the Boston Business Journal.

Amtrak must pay for maintenance costs per a 30-year contract signed with the MBTA in 2003. The deal allows Amtrak to use stretches of the MBTA’s tracks in exchange for maintenance work and other services, reports the Journal.

After a federal commission finalized a policy in September saying Amtrak and state agencies should split operational costs, Amtrak asked the MBTA to pay $28.8 million, reports the Journal. The MBTA has refused to pay Amtrak, citing the agreement signed 13 years ago.

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Amtrak crews worked overnight to fix the signal problem by Friday morning, an Amtrak spokesperson told Boston.com.

Read the full story in the Journal.

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