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May 29, 2001

New Fore River Railroad Operations Contract Awarded by MWRA

The Fore River Railroad in Quincy will be operated by neighboring Twin Rivers Technologies beginning July 1, and the new operating contract will generate an additional $300,000 in revenue for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority.

"This is a positive for both us and the ratepayers," said Barbara Gottschalk, the MWRA’s interim executive director. "It allows us to ensure optimal freight-rail services, while also maximizing revenue."
The contract was awarded after a lengthy bidding process, wherein a selection of ten total bidders was narrowed down, first to five qualified firms, and then eventually to one. The firms involved were competing to offer the Fore River Railroad the highest percentage of revenue.

The Fore River Railroad Corporation is owned by MWRA. It came as part of the purchase of the Fore River Staging Area in 1987 from General Dynamics. The railroad is approximately 2.7 miles long and extends from the Twin Rivers Technologies Plant in Quincy to the interchange with CSX Transportation in Braintree.

The railroad serves two purposes. It is used, in large part, by Twin Rivers Technologies to transport freight cars full of fatty-acids which are produced at their plant in Quincy. Those acids are used to make different kinds of soap.

The MWRA utilizes the railroad to transport pelletized fertilizer which is produced at its sludge-to-fertilizer facility at Fore River Shipyard. The ability to take sludge from the Deer Island treatment plant and eventually convert it to fertilizer in Quincy, was what marked the end of sludge discharges into Boston Harbor. Now, a material which had so long contributed to the pollution of Boston Harbor, is instead treated and put to productive use in landscaping, gardening and large scale agriculture.

Since 1992, the Quincy Bay Terminal Company has run the railroad.