Commuter Rail

In her inaugural address last week, Governor Maggie Hassan made the push for extending commuter rail from Boston to Nashua and Manchester.

"We must find a consensus way forward on rail that will build on our many advantages and help set the stage for a new generation of economic growth by keeping more of our young people right here in the Granite State," Hassan said. 

Mass. Office of Travel & Tourism Via Flickr CC

According to the latest study of the so-called Capital Rail Corridor released last night by the New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority running commuter rail from Manchester to Boston would cost $246 million dollars, and attract at least 650,000 riders per year.

Many in a standing-room-only audience in Nashua were ready to forge ahead with expanding train service, but the study will likely face a chillier reception in other parts of the state.

Sara Plourde

At 6:15 every morning, Christine Suchecki leaves her house in Windham, NH, and spends the next hour and twenty minutes driving almost 40 miles to her job as a nurse in Boston. Her husband drives in a similar direction, to Waltham, MA. “We just look at it as either you’re going to pay financially in your proximity to the city, or with time in your commute,” Suchecki says.

New Hampshire is looking at whether to accept federal funds to once again study whether passenger and freight trains make sense for the state.  But many of the same concerns are coming up again:  that New Hampshire doesn’t have enough people who would ride the rails to justify the enormous cost.  We'll revisit this debate.

Guests

Railroad Crossing
Photo by Tim Cummins via Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire is inching closer to studying the costs and benefits of restoring commuter rail service.

Downeaster Train Service Turns Ten

Dec 16, 2011
Voluntary Amputation via Flickr/Creative Commons - http://www.flickr.com/photos/photopunk13/565984437/in/photostream/

This week officials with Amtrak’s Downeaster marked ten years in service.

The train line between Portland, Maine and Boston includes several stops in New Hampshire. Ridership is up and there are plans to expand the service next year.

Peter Griffin is president of the New Hampshire Railroad Revitalization Association. He tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the Downeaster's ten years in service.

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