The two rail operators are telling a federal judge they're maybe a month away from resolving a $29-million dispute over the cost of Northeast Corridor service in Massachusetts.
US District Court Judge Mark Wolf today gave the two sides until next Thursday to either file a formal request to have him dismiss the case or explain why he shouldn't.
The MBTA sued Amtrak in January after an interstate commission voted to begin charging the T fees for service on the Northeast Corridor between Rhode Island and South Station, a similar arrangement to how Amtrak operates in other states along the Northeast Corridor.
The difference, though, is that, unlike in other states, Massachusetts owns the tracks rather than Amtrak.
The ruling would have superseded a cost-sharing agreement between the T and Amtrak, in which the T agreed to let Amtrak use its tracks at no charge and to control train dispatching - which gives Amtrak trains priority over MBTA commuter trains - in exchange for the T picking up maintenance costs for tracks and signals.
At one point, the court dispute grew heated enough that Amtrak said it would have to consider ending Acela service in Providence if the MBTA didn't start paying up.