Attorney Leonard M. Singer, Boston, MA  (617) 737-7670  (

M.G.L. c 161A, Section 7.

Railroad rights-of-way or related facilities; sale or disposition; commonwealth's right of first refusal.

(a) To the extent not inconsistent with federal law, no railroad company which conducts or has conducted operations within the commonwealth shall sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of railroad rights-of-way or related facilities without first offering such rights-of-way or facilities for sale, transfer or disposition to either the executive office, acting on behalf of the commonwealth, or such other department, authority, agency, or political subdivision of the commonwealth as may be designated by the executive office for the purpose of any such sale, transfer or disposition; provided, that such sale, transfer or disposition may be made by the railroad company to a party other than the executive office or its designee, but only if (i) the executive office or its designee has notified the railroad company in writing of its rejection of such offer; or (ii) ninety calendar days have elapsed from the date on which said offer or a copy of such offer, as provided in the second paragraph, is made to the executive office. (b) Said railroad company shall make such offer in writing and shall send such offer by certified mail to the executive office or to its designee. In the event that such offer is made to a designee of the executive office, a notarized copy of such offer shall be sent by certified mail to the executive office. Any such offer shall include the price at which said company proposes to offer such rights-of-way or facilities to the commonwealth, and such other terms or conditions which said company proposed to include as part of such sale, transfer or disposition. The executive office or its designee shall notify in writing and by certified mail said railroad company of its acceptance or rejection of such offer within ninety calendar days of such offer, and in the event that the designee of the executive office sends such notice, said designee shall also send a notarized copy of such notice to the executive office. The executive office is hereby authorized to notify any person that the conditions provided in clauses (i) and (ii) of paragraph (a) have been satisfied and that the commonwealth no longer has the option to acquire the rights-of-way or facilities as provided in said paragraph. Any such notice shall be binding on the commonwealth. In no event shall said railroad company offer to sell, transfer, or otherwise dispose of railroad rights-of-way or facilities to any person on terms of conditions more favorable to said person than those offered to the commonwealth.

Do not act or rely upon this statute without ensuring that it is up to date and without seeking professional legal advice.