New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

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Postby b&m 1566 » Thu Nov 22, 2007 2:54 am

Yes and no, the first goal is to get the Lowell to Nashua commuter train up and running. From there it will be Nashua on up to Manchester and Concord. I can defiantly see a commuter train coming to Salem but north of that is up for grabs. The two biggest hurtles the line has is: 1) the number of grade crossings there are (15 total I believe??? from Lawrence to Salem with the bulk of those coming in Salem that's not even including the rest of the line from Windham to Manchester). 2) The Manchester Airport owns and occupies about 2 +/- miles of the ROW.
With that said a study has already been conducted and if my memory serves me correct I don't think much can be done about the grade crossings but for the airport two options game up in the report.
Option 1 - is to keep the original alignment and tunnel under the airport premises
Option 2 - relocate the ROW to the east which would add another 5 grade crossings
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Postby l008com » Sat Nov 24, 2007 12:56 am

Also, isn't the runway way high up? So the track would be at the same height it was always at, they just built the runway on top of that, and they'd have to dig a hole for a tunnel. I believe this is the case.
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Postby truman » Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:12 pm

Tunneling under the airport would be a serious and expensive engineering challenge. It may be more cost effective and expedient to route around the airport. As for that, depressing the ROW would eliminate the grade crossings with bridges, and possibly reduce any grades encountered getting into the city.
Its too bad this line couldn't have been held in some sort of dormant reserve, as at least twice this year, extremely heavy, high and wide loads have been moved to Derry and Londonderry from points on the coast, over highways, at great expense, at the blinding speed of four mph, taking three days or more to reach their destination.
Ah, forsight.
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Postby l008com » Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:18 pm

People LOVE airplanes though, they are so the future, and trains so the past. Point being, that even if they did keep the rails in place, I suspect nothing short of an active daily commuter train would have kept the track from getting buried by a runway extension. But who knows.
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Postby truman » Sat Dec 01, 2007 7:55 am

True enough, people will be people. They want to get there NOW, and don't care what it costs, don't care about fuel efficiency,don't consider what would happen if those spinny things stop spinning. These are the people that deserve six dollar a gallon gasoline. At least in a Budd car or Amfleet coach, if the motors stop, you don't have far to fall. Everyday I look into the sky and marvel, not at the act of flight, but at the idea that companies can actually maintain these aircraft and make money moving people and products.
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Manchester-Lawrence ROW may see rail again!

Postby robmcalpine » Tue Dec 04, 2007 3:38 pm

Article courtesy Lawrence Eagle Tribune.
Quote: "Last night, New Hampshire transportation official Kenneth Kinney announced that six previous options were narrowed to two - a train system running on the former Manchester-Lawrence, Mass., rail route and a bus system that would operate in the I-93 breakdown lane.
... "the state retained the rights to the rail-trail area when it was first built, and warned towns that it might one day run trains through the passageway..."

FULL STORY:
http://www.eagletribune.com/punewsnh/lo ... _333093852
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Postby l008com » Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:09 pm

Thats great news. HOWEVER, when they say 'from 6 to 2', do they mean there were 6 options for the 93 corridor, or do they mean 6 total options, counting the rail line into exeter and the rail line up through nashua?
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Postby b&m 1566 » Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:23 pm

They meant 6 options for the I-93 Corridor. One of those options that we can finally put to rest, is the light rail down the median of 93.
The bus in the break down lane may work in other cities but I can't see it working here nor would I want to see it work. It seems too dangerous to me.
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Postby l008com » Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:32 pm

Well this is an assumption but: I assume they aren't just going to stick busses in the existing brakedown lanes, like they have on 93 in mass and 128 in mass. I assume they are going to spend that 69 million and make the brakedown lanes more designed for regular use. But one thing they haven't made clear, with either plan, is how they are going to get to boston. Are the buses or trains going all the way, or are they going to stop in the lawrence area and you'll have to switch to a mass-specific form of transport?
It seems clear to use that a rail route would be better, but then again we are members of a railfan forum so our opinions couldn't possibly be biased :-D I sure hope ill be able to take the train from Anderson to Derry at some point, sooner the better.
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Postby l008com » Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:34 pm

Anyone know of a map that shows where the M-L is singletrack and where its double track? Obviously its zero-track now but when it was still in use I mean.
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Postby b&m 1566 » Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:58 pm

The M&L was single tracked but there were a few long sidings here and there. Salem Depot had a passing track; there was a passing track up by the now ex-Rt. 111 and Rt. 28 intersection (old site of the Canobie Lake Station). I'm not really sure of the other passing tracks but in Windham just north of the station there are two sets of tracks still in the Pavement on Windham Rd. I've seen pictures of the Windham Jct. area from the 1920's and the M&L line had only one track so I don't know why there are two sets in the pavement unless a passing track was added in later years. The site of the Manchester Airport use to be a small yard (I remember when the tracks were still in place).
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Postby l008com » Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:08 am

Interesting. If they are having trains once an hour, and every half an hour at peak times... its going to be interesting how they plan on getting all these trains up and down the line. Unless of course they are planning on double tracking it.
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Postby b&m 1566 » Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:48 am

Running a train every half hour will never happen that’s to say if the line is even revived.
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Postby l008com » Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:53 am

Well the tone of the article just posted to this thread today make it sound like it is happening and it is happening soon. It might not be as soon as it sounds but I betcha it happens sooner than we think. BTW Regular is at $3/gal today. Every dime it goes up, the people will want this more and more. ALSO, something NH has that Arlington and Stoneham and Winchester etc do not, its TONS of free empty land they can relocate their bike routes to.
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Postby b&m 1566 » Wed Dec 05, 2007 9:13 pm

I don't doubt it for a second, I do believe that some of the M&L branch will be revived but whether or it goes to Manchester or not, is the bigger question.
I don't know the details with the I93 corridor because I never went to any of the meetings that were open to the public (I wish I did) but from what little information I have gathered is this - the federal government is paying a certain percent of the project (I don't know what that is) in conjunction that the state of NH comes up with alternatives (just like the big dig). So yes the state has to do something which is why they haven't ignored the Lowell extension in conjunction with rt. 3 or the Lawrence extension in conjunction to I93 (they just can find away to fund them, which is the reason for the delay). The studies have been completed for both corridors outlining what the current conditions are and what needs to be done.
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