Nashua Mayor Looks To Build Public Support For Rail

Mar 21, 2016

Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess.
Credit Brady Carlson for NHPR / NHPR

  Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess is hosting an event tonight to highlight a proposed commuter rail service between southern New Hampshire and Boston. 

The public forum takes place tonight at Nashua Public Library.

Aly McKnight, assistant to the mayor, says the recent vote in the New Hampshire House against spending $4 million in federal aid for rail planning and study shows rail advocates need to better mobilize public support.

"This is something Nashua residents - residents across the state, but particularly in Hillsborough County, have been waiting for for so long," McKnight says. "We're really excited to get people excited and advocating for something they care about and they want."

The Capital Corridor study concluded a commuter rail service with two stops in Manchester and one in Nashua would attract about 668,000 riders a year and lead to 5,600 new jobs by 2030.

Critics consider those estimates optimistic and say the $246 million costs of building the line outweigh the potential benefits.