New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby p42thedowneaster » Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:48 am

If nearly 75% of NH citizens want commuter rail, then why did Plaistow, NH vote down the station by nearly those figures? I think someone is playing with the numbers. Commuter Rail is great if you're on it, but for everyone else it will relieve nothing but more money from taxpayer pockets. Think of how many cars a commuter train takes off the road, and then watch how quickly that number of cars flies by on I93....mix in a few busses, and it's as if the train never happend.

There will be better technology than CR coming, just wait and see.
User avatar
p42thedowneaster
 
Posts: 772
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 9:17 pm

Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby Arlington » Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:54 am

The answer is simple: (1)support is not uniformly distributed and (2) it's like the mythical mile away highway: everyone wants a highway as long as it's exactly a mile away and (3) Plaistow voters were absurd: opposing it because it would simultaneously be so busy that it would destroy traffic flow and so unused that they claimed it would be a waste of space and money that they were wrong on both counts didn't stop them from voting it down basically because they feared change.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn
Arlington
 
Posts: 3200
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:51 am
Location: Medford MA (was Arlington MA and Arlington VA)

Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby b&m 1566 » Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:00 am

I'm sure the fear of a layover facility being constructed in town didn't help matters either.
Last edited by b&m 1566 on Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
b&m 1566
 
Posts: 2842
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 2:09 am
Location: Hudson, NH

Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby p42thedowneaster » Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:57 am

I think it's all about money and political power. The question is split on cleanly on party lines... and Plaistow is on one side.
They know this is going to turn into a big government mess, ripe for all sorts of corruption. The possible effects of traffic and noise are only the visible part of the iceberg.

I wonder if Pan Am was trying to start up a private commuter rail service would there be support? Or would they recieve the same welcome as they did in Portsmouth with the increased gas shippments. I can see the crossing death studies already!
User avatar
p42thedowneaster
 
Posts: 772
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 9:17 pm

Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:51 pm

p42thedowneaster wrote:If nearly 75% of NH citizens want commuter rail, then why did Plaistow, NH vote down the station by nearly those figures? I think someone is playing with the numbers. Commuter Rail is great if you're on it, but for everyone else it will relieve nothing but more money from taxpayer pockets. Think of how many cars a commuter train takes off the road, and then watch how quickly that number of cars flies by on I93....mix in a few busses, and it's as if the train never happend.

There will be better technology than CR coming, just wait and see.


Plaistow & Atkinson ≠ Nashua & Manchester. They found out the hard way with the Haverhill extension what a NIMBY terrorscape those two towns are. I'm quite sure that even if the T revisits "Option 3" layover on the Haverhill side of the state line strictly to address its dire need to move out of Bradford layover that Atkinson joins the grand tradition of North Grafton, West Upton, and Winchester at lighting money on fire filing frivolous suit and STB spam after frivolous suit and STB spam simply because that's how their collective medulla oblongata is programmed. The MBTA wanted nothing to do with them near the end of that tortured process after it got a revealing look at the crap it was going to have to put up with trying to operate on daily basis through those towns.

Nashua is so gung-ho for a stop it's already purchased the land for the downtown station and is working overtime trying to find the land by the Mall (or an IOU for a later buy) for the South Nashua stop. As well as lobbying the hell out of the state about that stalled $4M in fed funds and talking independently with the MBTA about realistic prospects for a go-it-alone advocacy that gets a minimum-most placeholder build. They want it badly enough to take matters into their own hands. And layover will never be a problem there if Manchester gets punted off years later because the back half of the PAR yard is unused and abutter-free. Doesn't mean they've got great odds on succeeding, but it speaks volumes about how strong the advocacy is. It's far, far from a monoculture in Southern NH. You'd expect the Capitol Corridor to be a lot more enthusiastic than the Western Route...but even within the Cap Corridor there's a spread of opinion and intensity. Maybe overall support is high, but it'll no doubt be softer in some places than others along the length of the Corridor. It just happens that advocacy is EXTREMELY intense in City of Nashua, and Nashua is the most consequential municipality for prospects of getting foot in the door and compelling MassDOT/MBTA to make its go/no-go value judgment on delivering the 8 extension miles to the border.
F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Posts: 7106
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 7:26 pm
Location: North Cambridge

Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby b&m 1566 » Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:46 pm

p42thedowneaster wrote:Commuter Rail is great if you're on it, but for everyone else it will relieve nothing but more money from taxpayer pockets.


You think the people living out in the Berkshire's like paying for commuter rail for Boston? You think people in Down East Maine like paying for the Downeaster? My tax money is paying for the maintenance of state roads all over the state and much of them, I'll never be on, my tax dollars are subsidizing the airlines, yet I haven't been on a plane since 2004. Why is rail always put on a different level like it’s a luxury? Public transit has never been self-funding (not at least since the dawn of the automobile).

p42thedowneaster wrote:There will be better technology than CR coming, just wait and see.


This is a bold statement, please elaborate?
b&m 1566
 
Posts: 2842
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 2:09 am
Location: Hudson, NH

Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby p42thedowneaster » Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:11 pm

The roads and airlines are still very practical ways of moving people. Trains (outside of tight urban areas) are largely becoming obsolete and inefficient for this purpose. I throughly enjoy riding trains, but I have to be honest in my assesment of their practicality today.

As for better technologies, what about maglev or hyperloops? These are crazy sounding ideas, but innovation will not stop at the request of our nostalgia. On the same breath, I dare say you have a better chance consistently crossing the Merrimack river in Haverill MA in a used school bus than on a commuter train.
User avatar
p42thedowneaster
 
Posts: 772
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 9:17 pm

Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby Arlington » Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:49 am

p42thedowneaster wrote:...airlines...maglev or hyperloops? These are crazy sounding ideas, but innovation will not stop at the request of our nostalgia.

You are describing intercity services targeting inter-metro-area trips of more than 60 miles [120+ miles, really] at airline-style prices--Even in the craziest techno-optimist scenarios for maglev or hyperloop, none will ever be priced or located for Nashua/Plaistow/NH-Southern-tier commuters. This is a "Commuter Rail" thread. How many commuters fly MHT to BOS on that fully-built, state-of-the-art, "free market" airline tech? None. The 40-year-old deregulated market in air travel has chosen to provide ZERO MHT-BOS nonstops.

Hyperloop includes ZERO destinations in New England even on its crazy-ass-pirational map. If even the crazy dreamers of Hyperloop have ruled out Boston, one would have to be 10x as crazy to think Boston will get Hyperloop, 50x as crazy to think MHT would, and 100x crazy to think Nashua would. So stop.
p42thedowneaster wrote:Trains (outside of tight urban areas) are largely becoming obsolete and inefficient for this purpose.

Completely irrelevant to this thread. Boston Mass was, is, and will be at all relevant times a tight urban area, so given this thread's belief that it is *the* place to which NH folks want to commute, it is more likely the case that trains are becoming ever-more-appropriate as a commuting tech as the Boston area gets ever-tighter.

Nashua dowtown and South Nashua stations are completely reasonable in themselves, and would actually serve to make the North-South Rail Link and Electrification more likely, and the route more useful, and more ridership more likely. A majority of tech-urban-demographic-economic case for better commuting in NH starts with rail to Nashua. The other part is toll lanes on 93, but even they would serve to make commuter service more attractive 'cause it would underscore that fast trips aren't going to be free for much longer.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn
Arlington
 
Posts: 3200
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:51 am
Location: Medford MA (was Arlington MA and Arlington VA)

Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby BostonUrbEx » Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:15 am

p42thedowneaster wrote:The roads and airlines are still very practical ways of moving people. Trains (outside of tight urban areas) are largely becoming obsolete and inefficient for this purpose.


Becoming obsolete/inefficient? How are they becoming anything but more efficient as our highways become more clogged? Are you stuck in the '50s? It is 2016. We survived the Cold War and Y2K, and we're looking for efficient mass transit options.

Now, granted, Plaistow is some backwater place for all I'm concerned and nobody on the outside really cares if they take a station or not. The fact is, the Haverhill Line needs a layover. I'm sure that at some point the state will find a nice property off Hilldale Ave just south of the border, and Atkinson/Plaistow can go pound sand. I think it would be a mistake to let a foreign DOT own a layover facility when it is so close to the border, anyway.

If we're going to talk about something real, let's talk about trains to Nashua, Manchester, and Portsmouth. Places which both should have (p42's urban areas comment) and want passenger rail. Who even cares about Plaistow? It is such a non-issue beyond the need for a layover facility.
User avatar
BostonUrbEx
 
Posts: 3587
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:55 pm
Location: Winn to MPT 8, Boston to MPN 38, and Hat to Bank

Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby b&m 1566 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:40 pm

p42thedowneaster wrote:Trains (outside of tight urban areas) are largely becoming obsolete and inefficient for this purpose.


Opinion or fact?
b&m 1566
 
Posts: 2842
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 2:09 am
Location: Hudson, NH

Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby parovoz » Sat Nov 05, 2016 2:01 am

BostonUrbEx wrote:If we're going to talk about something real, let's talk about trains to Nashua, Manchester, and Portsmouth. Places which both should have (p42's urban areas comment) and want passenger rail.

What's the story with Concord? Do they want CR?
--
Yours, D.Z.
User avatar
parovoz
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Lexington, MA

Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Nov 05, 2016 5:37 am

Concord was always a Phase II. Manchester was the outermost practical extent for running an all-stops Lowell Line local within schedule margin of error for northside dispatch. The finish to Concord would've involved a service-increasing express layer that ran local in NH but express in MA stopping only at Lowell and Anderson RTC. Less a linear extension than a breakout into semi-intrastate / semi-Boston service.

Of course the Legislature and Governor's Council--surprise surprise--are completely ungovernable on the issue. So Manchester--if not quite officially dead yet--is staggering around half-unglued and things have shifted to puke-and-rally for the border poke at Nashua. The main driver for the stripped-bare border poke is that the MBTA will probably be game for it. MassDOT has a lot of mandatory bridge clearance work to do in downtown Lowell for the eventual Pan Am Ayer-Portland double-stack clearance project, as well as an unfunded mandate to mass-reconfigure Bleachery Interlocking for the freight main @ Lowell. So the 3 miles from Lowell Station to North Chelmsford Jct. is going to get done over any which way in the next 8 years for upgrades and state-of-repair to the freight main, with all the freight-specific grant sources that project can tap. That covers ~40% of the passenger extension's route miles to the border, so if there was ever a moment to G.F.I.N. on the passenger extension that's the T's ideal window, when they've got a chance to roll up grant applications into a more prominent wad. If it's just Nashua they wouldn't even need to do any double-track from N. Chelmsford Jct. to the border, save for a freight passing track at any North Chelmsford/Vinal Square intermediate stop.

At least with the border poke the T and Massachusetts are fully satisfied that all their in-district needs constituencies are served, as a lot of strictly-MA ridership is served by sending commuter rail service through a presently un-served swath of the Lowell Regional Transit Authority bus district. As well as the obvious upsides of clearing out Lowell garage of a ton of Live Free or Die plates so more locals can park, and diverting more Route 3 traffic at the border ahead of the I-495/Lowell Connector interchange. If they get that much, for all MA cares NH can squabble and/or squander about Manchester or Concord service till the heat death of the universe; that's all strictly the Granite State's bag.


So we'll see how much City of Nashua's bid to financially overextend itself does to herd cats in the state capitol to make the bare minimum effort. At least the magic of low expectations and MA having upcoming unfinished business on the freight main portion makes the border poke not too excessively far-fetched a thing.
F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Posts: 7106
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 7:26 pm
Location: North Cambridge

Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby Jeff Smith » Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:23 pm

Concord Monitor

There's some head-scratchers in here.

How much would rail in New Hampshire really cost?
...
When it comes to commuter rail, there are two sets of numbers you need to know.

First, there’s the capital costs – the money it will take to get the rail line up and running. That amount is about $245.6 million to extend the line from Lowell to Manchester and build train stops in downtown Manchester, the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and downtown Nashua.

However, the project can leverage dollars and money from the MBTA – which could leave the state bonding about $72 million, said Mike Izbicki, chairman of the New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority Governance Board.

Then there’s the operating cost – the money it will take to maintain the line and trains. That’s about $11 million per year.

However, the rail study estimates that with revenue from tickets, station parking and concessions kicked in, New Hampshire will have to chip in closer to $3 million to $5 million per year.


There's talk about the Downeaster as a comp; I'll leave that to you all. This is the quote that's news to me:

Rail already in N.H.
Right now, the Seacoast, Cheshire County and the Upper Valley are all serviced by rail. In a year, high speed rail will be coming up through Brattleboro and White River Junction, Vt., getting people in Western New Hampshire to New York City in three hours.


Um.....
Next stop, Willoughby
~Jeff Smith (fka "Sarge") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator
Jeff Smith
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7404
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: MP 67.2 Georgia Southern Railway

Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby Dick H » Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:50 am

Commuter Rail in NH died last night. A Governor Sununu
will make sure there are no studies, hearings and no
dollars.
Dick H
 
Posts: 3029
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 8:55 pm
Location: Dover, NH

Re: New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

Postby b&m 1566 » Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:21 pm

SMH, this state is behind the 8 ball when it comes to transportation, education and job growth. The citizens are growing old and it's not attracting a younger generation to move in. A lot of people who grow up in this state, move away to find better job opportunities; the largest industry in the state is insurance sales (that says a lot). This state needs a swift kick in the a** in a lot of areas; I don't know if Sununu is the answer or not to end the stagnation but I certainly hope he is. Trying to push commuter rail in this state right now, when we are struggling to fund the upgrades to 93, have zero funding for education (putting the burden solely on the municipalities and whatever they can grab from the feds in grants) is hardly acceptable. Towns across this state have run out of money just to supply the basic needs, like paper, to put in the schools. A lot of schools throughout the state ask the parents to bring in supplies so the schools can function... it's embarrassing!
b&m 1566
 
Posts: 2842
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 2:09 am
Location: Hudson, NH

PreviousNext

Return to New England Railfan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests