The T went to NH??

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The T went to NH??

Postby NellsChoo » Fri Jan 14, 2005 11:43 am

I was watching a video the other day and it showed a T commuter train in Tyngsboro MA, coming back from NH!! I didn't know the T ever went to NH! I guess I still have lots to learn... Sure was funny to see a train at speed on those tracks, given today's speed restrictions.
It is still GUILFORD to me... http://www.newenglanddepot.net
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Postby RailBus63 » Fri Jan 14, 2005 1:04 pm

Back in 1980, certain Lowell commuter trains were extended to Concord NH for one year.

JD
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The T went to NH?

Postby eddiebear » Fri Jan 14, 2005 1:44 pm

Two Mon-Fri round-trips, one Sat, one Sun. Used conventional equipment initially. The attempt was to have the Pullman cars of 1978 or so in the consist, but once in a while, due to operational problems, a set of RDCs towed by a B & M leased unit made the run. The layout of North Station was such that two trains, side by side, could be going to the two Concords, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Some people did get on the wrong train. Later a Leyland self-propelled car came over from England and handled the lighter patronized trip. Change at Lowell required. The B & M upgraded the mainline from Lowell to Manchester to 60 mph with some new ties and surfacing. Due to initially strong demand a "station" was constructed at Merrimack, NH, not a planned stop when the service began. The Leyland got mauled in a grade crossing crash and was eventually bought by the B & M.
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Postby Stephen » Fri Jan 14, 2005 2:09 pm

The NETransit site has an article that details every change made to service on the MBTA. This includes information on the temporary service to New Hampshire.

As this file is a huge PDF, I am including the link to the general articles page.
http://members.aol.com/netransit/mainarts.html
To get to the list, click on the Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA District 1964-Present link. This is a LARGE PDF file open it with caution.

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Postby CSX Conductor » Fri Jan 14, 2005 8:13 pm

I know that Nells means revenue service, but I remember taking a MBTA train to White River Jct. Vt. with a MBRRE excursion. :wink: That was a nice ride.
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Fri Jan 14, 2005 8:47 pm

Well, after all those other projects the MBTA has to deal with for now, maybe someday they'll restore service up to Concord. It would make great service and benefit residents of the Concord, NH and surrounding area and bring more business to those towns.
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Postby dcm74 » Fri Jan 14, 2005 11:06 pm

And will the State of New Hampshire give as much financial support to expanded MBTA service as they currently give the Downeaster?
The previous service to Concord ended when the New Hampshire DOT withdrew its financial support.
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Postby GP40MC 1116 » Sat Jan 15, 2005 12:00 am

RailBus63 wrote:Back in 1980, certain Lowell commuter trains were extended to Concord NH for one year.

JD


If it was back then, why not have it operate now, is the big issue the $$?
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Postby dcm74 » Sat Jan 15, 2005 8:38 am

GP40MC 1116 wrote:
RailBus63 wrote:Back in 1980, certain Lowell commuter trains were extended to Concord NH for one year.

JD


If it was back then, why not have it operate now, is the big issue the $$?


It's absolutely a money issue. The 1980 (Election Year) service was at least partially funded by a Federal grant. When the Federal funding ran out the service ended.
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Postby TomNelligan » Sat Jan 15, 2005 1:37 pm

I'm always surprised that some people here seem to forget that when you're talking about commuter trains, it's ALL about politics and money, and has been for decades. More trains are always nice, but you need to convince the taxpayers to foot the bill. The MBTA trains that ran to Concord between January 1980 and February 1981 started up in large part because of a Federal transportation grant that was intended to help Jimmy Carter win the 1980 New Hampshire presidential primary (which he did). But Ronald Regan won in November, the grant ran out, New Hampshire didn't pick up the funding, and that was the end of that. There were never more than two trains a day on the route, and only one at the beginning and end.

Since there, there have been periodic proposals for restoration of service to either Nashua or Manchester, but in the absence of money from those folks up north, it isn't going to happen. If the money shows up, it will. It's that simple. But given the current dispute regarding NH paying a share of the cost of Amtrak's already-running "Downeaster" service that crosses the southeastern part of the state, it doesn't look promising.

BTW, that British Leyland railbus mentioned by Mr. Bear that ran briefly as a Lowell-Concord midday train wound up on a tourist railroad in West Virginia. And a large number of similar vehicles can be found in use in branchline service in England. They're spartan and rough riding, but they do offer a great railfan view out the front.
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Postby iandavid » Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:37 pm

What a strange-looking vehicle:

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Postby SnoozerZ49 » Sat Jan 15, 2005 7:42 pm

The photo of the Northern Ireland Rail _ Leyland Bus looks like a character from Thomas the Tank Engine's show!
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Postby CSX Conductor » Sat Jan 15, 2005 10:05 pm

Yeah, that looks alot like Bertie the Bus to me :P
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:31 pm

Maybe we should use such Rail-buses for the Greenbush extension with a branch to Nantasket Beach.
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Postby TomNelligan » Sun Jan 16, 2005 10:55 am

The production model Leyland railbuses currently running in the UK are basically just that -- buses on rails (Leyland is a manufacturer of highway vehicles). They only seat about 40 people on hard plastic seats with minimal comfort. However, they were cheap to build and cheap to run, and in a country with a much higher commitment to rail passenger service than ours, they filled a niche.

Railbuses and the like haven't found much of a market on this continent since the 1950s. Today, there would be two impediments to using them for off-peak commuter service. One is the FRA regulations for crashworthiness that prevent use of off-the-shelf European equipment in US service that shares tracks with full-size trains. Second, in this country at least, if the market for a given trip is so small that a 40-seat vehicle is adequate, any sane transit authority will be running a bus rather than paying a two-person crew to operate a mini-train.

By the way, the MBTA also borrowed a Fiat railcar from Italy at around the same time the Leyland was in service here. It ran Boston-Beverly midday trips for a little while and then went home without generating an order.
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