Section 6. The secretary, in addition to any other powers and duties conferred or imposed upon him by this chapter or any other general or special law, shall have the following powers and duties:
(a) To serve as the principal source of rail transportation planning for the commonwealth. In doing so, the secretary may conduct research, surveys, demonstration projects or studies in cooperation with federal, state, regional or local agencies, or appropriate private parties; and shall be responsible for the preparation of continuing, comprehensive and coordinated rail transportation proposals, plans, programs and projects. The secretary shall submit said proposals, plans, programs and projects for such review or consideration by other governmental agencies as may be required by law or deemed appropriate by the secretary; and shall prepare such plans and programs in coordination with related land use and other development plans, so far as practicable.
(b) To apply for, accept and expend on behalf of the commonwealth, any gift, loan or grant-in-aid from the federal government, any agency or instrumentality thereof, or from any foundation, private corporation, group or person, in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter. The secretary is authorized and directed to take all necessary action to secure any federal assistance which is or may become available to the executive office or any administrative unit thereof, including without limitation, filing applications for assistance, supervising the expenditure of federal grants or loans and making any determinations and certifications necessary or appropriate to the foregoing. If any federal law, administrative regulation or practice requires any action relating to such federal assistance to be taken by any department, agency or other instrumentality of the commonwealth other than the executive office, such other department, agency or instrumentality is authorized and directed to take all such action. It is the intent of this clause that the provisions of any federal law, administrative regulation or practice governing federal assistance shall, to the extent necessary to enable the commonwealth or its subdivisions to receive such assistance and not constitutionally prohibited, override any inconsistent provisions of this chapter or any general or special law.
(c) To make and enter into any contracts or agreements necessary or incidental to the performance and execution of the powers and duties of the executive office under this chapter or any general or special law. Any party, public or private including, without limitation, federal, state and local agencies, authorities or political subdivisions of the commonwealth, or private corporations or companies, is hereby granted the power and authority to enter into any such contracts or agreements, subject to such provisions of law as may be applicable. Any such contract or agreement, if made with the department of highways may include provisions for the transfer to said department of appropriations or other funds made available to the executive office under sections four or five for the purpose of carrying out such contract or agreement. Any contract or agreement made under this chapter, including, without limitation, contracts or agreements entered into by the executive office of administration and finance pursuant to section five, shall include such provisions, terms or conditions as the secretary may deem necessary or appropriate.
(d) To acquire by eminent domain under chapter seventy-nine, or by purchase, gift, devise, transfer, lease or otherwise, or to hold, lease, pledge, otherwise deal with, transfer, sell or dispose of real and personal property.
(e) To exercise all powers and do all acts or things necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
(f) Without limitation of the foregoing, to delegate to the department of highways on such terms and conditions as the secretary may prescribe, any power or duty conferred or imposed upon him by this chapter; provided, that any such delegation shall be in writing.