New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby octr202 » Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:08 pm

I'll bite...seeing as how I live six miles from the border. Also, I work in Boston and my better half works in Manchester (Manchvegas). There are often events in the evenings that I would like to attend in Manchester, but (since they often fall on Thursdays when traffic is worst), most of the time I don't even bother as trying to get from Boston to Manchester in the afternoon is such an ordeal. Boston Express buses can easily end up 30-60 minutes late due to traffic, and taking the train to some location and driving the rest of the way is a minimum 90-120 minute experience, if not more, and driving the whole way just doesn't work unless you can leave Boston by 2:30 PM most days. NH may get traffic to move faster on its stretch of I93 with the widening, but where's all that Boston oriented traffic going to go once it gets closer to Boston? The southbound jams on 93 start in the Andover area before 5:30 AM some days, and can last for hours in the evenings.

Where am I going with this? In the Manchester and Nashua areas want to be tied in to Boston/Cambridge/etc, they can, but people aren't going to drive. Mass. isn't going to add any new highway capacity between 495 and Boston, so how does widening the highways in NH help? I think these folks are being pragmatic about the fact that Manchester and Nashua have a lot of urban potential if only it were easier for folks to get back and forth. From Boston-based workers looking for affordable housing, a more small city feel, and just something different, to allowing reverse commuters to have a reliable and predictable service, it would be a whole new ballgame. And just for that reason there may also be a lot of folks in NH who don't want to see it happen for exactly those same reasons.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:53 pm

The above is a great example of why Maine benefits so much from the investments made thus far in the Downeaster.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby p42thedowneaster » Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:44 pm

If i-93 in NH is set to be adequate for some years, it makes me wonder how much longer traditional commuter trains are going to be relevant?

Is it possible that the corridor could also be used as the testing grounds for more groundbreaking transit technology such as the Hyperloop?
If that's a possibility, wouldn't it make sense to invest more in the new technology north of the border? (Maybe it could be privately built and operated?? Ie: Elon Musk) Surely if it panned out, the Boston-Montreal route via BCMRR would be amazing. I suspect it could even be built up (elevated) above the tracks to allow the existing rail traffic to continue on underneath.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby deathtopumpkins » Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:31 pm

http://nhpr.org/post/house-stops-nh-com ... its-tracks

The New Hampshire legislature voted down spending money on studying commuter rail.

The New Hampshire House has voted down spending $4 million dollars in federal aid to explore extending commuter rail from Boston to New Hampshire. The money, which was tucked into the state’s 10-year transportation legislation, would have been used to study how the state would pay for commuter rail.

...

“To be realistic there are far higher priority that these funds could be utilized for such as addressing many of the red listed bridges and the desperately delayed road repairs,” O'Connor said on the floor.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:52 pm

"Desperately delayed road repairs"

That's going to be an increasingly common phrase in New Hampshire for years to come.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:58 pm

Gee...maybe bankrupting the bridge repair fund to pay for that I-93 widening y'all couldn't afford wasn't such a swell idea after all?
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby b&m 1566 » Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:49 pm

93 was never built properly the first time and had some very bad safety issues with on and off ramps. Add that on top of the increased traffic, speeds, and decaying bridges the state had no choice. What NH had wanted to do, was install a toll plazas at the state line but later found out MA, wanted to do the same thing, so both states agreed to not build tolls at all and that part of the project was crossed off. With no state income tax, no sales tax the burden falls heavily on the shoulders of property taxes. I'm all for a state income tax but I will admit, I voted no a few years ago when it went before the voters. The process was to vague and I had a lot of unanswered questions. Either way to get back on topic, this state can't afford to fund commuter rail until more tax revenue is brought in. 93 has sucked the state dry and once they are done with Salem/Manchester, they are supposed to do Concord next. That project with eliminate the old rail yard property (not that Pan Am needs one in that area).
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby newpylong » Sat Mar 19, 2016 4:30 pm

Why do out of staters with no horse in the race care?

You should see the secondary state highways and unnumbered state roads up here. They are deplorable. The best we can get is a skim job, not even a full pave.

From someone who would ride this often going to my regional office in Boston, I am glad this was torpedoed. There are higher priorities currently. Commuter rail is a nice to have..bridges aren't.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby dowlingm » Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:13 pm

Criticising out of staters is hilarious given the issue is about NHers commuting out of state to MA??
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby eustis22 » Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:31 pm

> so both states agreed to not build tolls at all and that part of the project was crossed off

Yeah, I'd renege on that deal so fast it'd put the Old Man back up that hill in high dudgeon.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby newpylong » Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:51 am

dowlingm wrote:Criticising out of staters is hilarious given the issue is about NHers commuting out of state to MA??


Please provide a correlation between non NH residents and NH residents who would potentially use the service?

NH residents have a horse in the game as they will be the ones paying for this. Non-residents do not.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby eustis22 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:05 am

riiight..the MBTA would pay for nothing.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:14 am

If it's just going to be a minimalist South Nashua and/or Downtown the city can probably go fishing for a TIGER grant + their own warchest and get it done for how few running miles we're talking. They did profess desire for a go-it-alone effort if the state backed out on Manchester. They just may have to design the station or stations as bare platform that can have the other centralized transpo center amenities added on when they can afford to.

Most of the work is going to be in Massachusetts, though it's hardly a budget-buster since they can now do it as single-track from the junction at North Chelmsford to state line and not worry about doubling up until NHDOT picks Manchester back up. Tasks include:
-- Reconfiguration of Bleachery interlocking + freight crossovers between Lowell station and N. Chelmsford so freight and passengers can flip sides fluidly.
-- Resurfacing all rail from N. Chelmsford to state line. It's Class 3 presently, but pretty rough-riding.
-- Redo 2 public grade crossings. Address if needed 4 private driveway grade crossings (probably not all need any work).
-- Install PTC (existing 1979-installed signal system should be OK)
-- North Chelmsford/Vinal Square intermediate stop. Single side full-high platform poured at island width for future double-tracking, plus freight passing track.
-- Pay off Pan Am for costs of installing layover equipment at Nashua freight yard on other side of state line.
-- *Maybe* a UMass-Lowell intermediate stop at their parking lot + track footbridge at Marginal St. Though that would definitely require a decently long stretch of tri-tracking for the freights, and the university needs to chuck in $$$ to make that happen. My guess is that's a build-later infill that wouldn't be part of any initial Nashua package.

They've got plenty of in-district motivation to do it; that Lowell garage isn't getting any less-overfull. It's all a matter of whether City of Nashua still wants to mount this on their own in conjunction with the T, without home-state help. Maybe, maybe not. But the project isn't totally dead just because the state capitol took a pass.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby newpylong » Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:41 am

eustis22 wrote:riiight..the MBTA would pay for nothing.


They're not going to be paying for NH trackage or station construction costs. The fare structure once started will provide some revenue but it will need to be subsidized to survive just like the greater system. Again that will fall on NH. Rememeber when they went after RI last year for payment to make up the gap in revenue shortfall?
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby Balerion » Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:18 am

deathtopumpkins wrote:http://nhpr.org/post/house-stops-nh-commuter-rail-project-its-tracks

The New Hampshire legislature voted down spending money on studying commuter rail.

The New Hampshire House has voted down spending $4 million dollars in federal aid to explore extending commuter rail from Boston to New Hampshire. The money, which was tucked into the state’s 10-year transportation legislation, would have been used to study how the state would pay for commuter rail.

...

“To be realistic there are far higher priority that these funds could be utilized for such as addressing many of the red listed bridges and the desperately delayed road repairs,” O'Connor said on the floor.


Latest update:

http://www.unionleader.com/article/2016 ... source=RSS

Supporters of commuter rail are pushing for the Senate Transportation Committee to tap $4 million in federal funding to help fund the next phase of commuter rail after the full House rejected the spending.

The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce submitted a letter signed by 18 business leaders, including from Citizens Bank, SilverTech and the McLane law firm, urging the Senate to back further work.


Does a Senate committee have the authority to reinstate the $4m phase without House support?
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