New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:23 pm

Arlington wrote:Then the question would be if BSRR could be nominated by MassDOT as operator of a Lowell to NH service, even as it nominates Keolis to operate its other lines. As long as the service is passenger, I don't see why it couldn't be legally papered to everyone's satisfaction.


I think there is a problem. Equipment ownership is a big one. Keolis operates MBTA owned equipment. BSRR is not that type of operation. I suspect Keolis might even have exclusive rights to operate MBTA equipment.

Arlington wrote:And I don't think MassDOT would consider BSRR "competition" (or call that a bad thing) any more than it calls the Downeaster competition--and it certainly considers the Downeaster officially a Good Thing. Everyone is fully aware of the "kinda" overlap with the Haverhill & Lowell lines, and everyone's happy with it as a mobility win, not a turf loss.

If the shareholders of BSRR are risk-seeking (dumb) enough to stake big $ on operating commuter service with MassDOT's blessing, I don't see why PAR would get to play spoiler.


While the MBTA has passenger rights that doesn't necessarily grant access to ancillary facilities and property. In that sense alone Pan Am could be extremely difficult to work with. It's almost upside down from the operating model on the rest of the T. Passenger rights on freight owned track as opposed to freight rights on passenger owned track.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby Arlington » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:14 am

It can't be about equipment ownership. If ownership actually mattered, nobody'd ever operate anything given all the crazy ownership options out there (Wet lease, Dry Lease, owned, mortgaged, depreciation deals, and loco ownership different than the cars being pulled), so I'd conclude that vehicle ownership does not affect operator status (or need not, if you have the right lawyer). The Hoosier State was operated just fine by a private company, once Amtrak was arm-twisted into contributing its Amtrak-can-run-passenger-service rights. Here, I doubt you'd have to twist the T's arm to use rights they have no (near-term) intention of using (and no incentive to withhold)

Liability is the famous hang up, but BSRR was going to have to solve that for itself wherever it wanted to operate. Nobody--neither the T nor nor P&W nor PAR--would take on BSRR's liability just for the honor of having them operate, so I'd conclude BSRR's going to have to get their own liability insurance.

Everything I've read indicates the T got the whole package: The T cut the PAR side-deal on the Lechmere swap precisely to enable passenger service to NH. I doubt they overlooked the need for passengers to access the tracks/platforms, but yes, BSRR may struggle to find a siding to park on overnight.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:55 pm

Well that's a very fair point. So liability is one problem.

In terms of access I was referring to BSRR being able to be on Pan Am property for anything other than a train on main line rails (eg truck access for servicing etc). I agree the siding could be a problem as well but even that doesn't answer if you can get trackside ...
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby b&m 1566 » Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:06 pm

I know this is old news but I just came across this article and I must say, the quote below has surprised me,

A 2015 Public Policy Poll indicated 74-percent of New Hampshire residents support passenger rail expansion.


I thought the number would be much closer to the 50/50 mark. Unfortunately, the article doesn't cite a source for this poll but if the poll does give us any indication of what the citizens want, then it confirms the politicians we've voted in, are not listing to us.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby BandA » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:52 pm

When talking about a poll, you need to know what question was asked. Also, everybody is for more services - until they find out the price tag.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby b&m 1566 » Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:05 pm

Exactly, that's why I'm taking it as a grain of salt. It would be nice if they cited the source, so I could see it for myself and also to try and figure out who could answer the poll; out of state people will cloud up those numbers real quick.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:40 pm

I'll bet 74 percent or more would oppose using state funds to run it ...
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby BandA » Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:58 pm

That's a good thing! There aren't enough state funds to pay for operating subsidies.
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Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby newpylong » Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:18 pm

Of course they do, look at where the bulk of the population is...
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