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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Breaking- NH DOT will not seek federal rail money

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation has announced it will not apply for federal funds for a high speed rail project, placing the blame on Pan Am Rail Systems.
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) has decided not to apply for $300 million in federal funding under the "High Speed Passenger Rail Program" that would have helped make possible passenger rail service along 39 miles of upgraded tracks from Nashua to Concord. The deadline for "Track 2 corridor service development and improvements" program applications is October 2, 2009.

"It’s very unfortunate that we are not able to take advantage of this huge window of opportunity for passenger rail in New Hampshire with any prospect of success at this time due to the lack of cooperation and involvement of Pan Am Railways, the host railroad along the corridor," says NHDOT Commissioner George Campbell. "By walking away from this unique and exiting initiative, Pan Am has effectively closed the window on strengthening New Hampshire’s economy. Our citizens and businesses along this corridor deserve better transportation choices than they have today."

Pan Am Railways announced on June 30 that it was no longer interested in either operating or hosting passenger rail along the rail corridor it owns. The State of New Hampshire is discussing with Amtrak its interest in operating passenger rail along the “NH Capital Corridor” (NHCC). Amtrak has successfully run the Downeaster service for the last decade and offers intercity rail service extensively across America.
The high-speed rail project is a boondoggle of the first magnitude. Had New Hampshire received the federal grant under the stimulus, it would have committed state taxpayers to a long-term subsidy for a rail line guaranteed to lose money on every ticket sold.

1 comment:

  1. This is indeed fantastic news!
    Next step for improving the NH economy: eliminate the NHDOT