Greenfield said that while the survivors still dispute Papenfuse's finding that SNCF had made a full disclosure, he has no plans to challenge it in court.
Greenfield said he didn't know whether the survivors' opposition affected the state's choice of a vendor. "I think it was another voice heard."
The state advertised the contract for a second time in July 2011 and received bids in November. This time the state received five proposals, but one company withdrew its bid and another was disqualified.
The department said it spent eight months evaluating bids before choosing Bombardier. If the board approves the contract, as it usually does, the transition would begin next month.
The contract calls for Bombardier to provide train crews, operate locomotives and other equipment, collect fares, and manage customer service and passenger relations.
The MTA would continue to oversee contract performance and have a voice in scheduling, Owens said. It would continue to own the locomotives and rail cars used on all three MARC lines would continue to have a contractual relationship with CSX as owner of the tracks.
Maryanne Roberts, the U.S. spokeswoman for Bombardier, said the company holds fleet operations and maintenance contracts for rail systems in New Jersey and Toronto and is involved in a joint venture providing those services for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
Roberts said she could not comment on the Maryland contract until the board votes. A spokesman for Keolis did not return calls seeking comment.
Mark Ostler, a spokesman for Toronto-based GO Transit, said Bombardier has provided "exceptional" service since taking over operations on the commuter line in 2007.
Rafi Guroian, chairman of the MARC Riders Advisory Council, welcomed the news that the state had found a new operator.
"In the long run, it's going to be beneficial, certainly from the perspective that CSX made no secret that they wanted out of the operator business," he said.
Guroian said CSX, primarily a freight carrier, has been doing a better job in recent years but was reluctant to do any new hiring as vacancies occurred. As a result, he said, there were times when trains were understaffed and had to be delayed.
As a taxpayer, Guroian said, he is happy to see a new operator because the MTA has been paying financial penalties to CSX for the delays in finding a successor.
Owens said those penalties have amounted to $1 million over the past year.
"That cost will go away with the new agreement," he said.