• Proposed Boston - Concord, NH Route Discussion

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by charlesriverbranch
 
Does it make a difference that MBTA commuter rail runs across state lines?
  by Allouette
 
MBTA already provides service to Rhode Island under a purchase-of-service agreement. New Hampshire is a bit of a different animal as all state contracts go through the five member Executive Council. The Council has not been particularly favorable to rail-related contracts for a long time, independent of the party split. That doesn't mean that rail projects will never happen, it just means the folks proposing them have to be very careful to get their story right.
  by mbrproductions
 
I personally think MBTA Commuter Rail service should go up to Manchester, with Amtrak service going all the way up to Lincoln, NH, unfortunately the ConnectUS map shows there is no intention of doing this anytime soon, what a route like that even be named? probably something adopted from the B&M.
And that wouldn't even be the only way to get Amtrak service into central NH, there is a right of way that goes from Portland, ME that leads straight to Conway, NH, although parts of it are now a trail, a good portion of it is still track. Does anyone know this ROW, what its called, when it was used? Thanks
  by markhb
 
mbrproductions wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 10:15 am I personally think MBTA Commuter Rail service should go up to Manchester, with Amtrak service going all the way up to Lincoln, NH, unfortunately the ConnectUS map shows there is no intention of doing this anytime soon, what a route like that even be named? probably something adopted from the B&M.
And that wouldn't even be the only way to get Amtrak service into central NH, there is a right of way that goes from Portland, ME that leads straight to Conway, NH, although parts of it are now a trail, a good portion of it is still track. Does anyone know this ROW, what its called, when it was used? Thanks
The old Maine Central Mountain Division, which was the MEC's direct-connection to (I believe) Canadian Pacific back when they were a freestanding railroad and didn't always have the best relationship with the Boston & Maine (their other outlet). The State of Maine owns the line west of the mill in Westbrook; there have been occasional proposals to revive and restart it for either commuter rail into Portland or for the odd putative industrial startup (no farther out than Steep Falls), but little has come of it except for some track work that didn't lead to a single train running on it. See the thread in the Pan Am forum for all the details.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
mbrproductions wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 10:15 am I personally think MBTA Commuter Rail service should go up to Manchester, with Amtrak service going all the way up to Lincoln, NH, unfortunately the ConnectUS map shows there is no intention of doing this anytime soon, what a route like that even be named? probably something adopted from the B&M.
Mr. MB, may I ask you accept that the Connect US was a coloring book just like every last agency in town submitted to the incoming Biden administration to suggest they are more worthy of funding than the other guys.

Now of interest should be that as of April 1952, according to New Haven RR Form 200, there was a both a Wash and NY-Bretton Woods Pullman line; possibly a vestige of the 1944 postwar monetary conference occurring at Bretton Woods.
  by charlesriverbranch
 
Not Lincoln, but White River Junction, via Lebanon, would be my choice if service is ever extended beyond Concord. This would set up a route that could be used for Boston - Montreal service. It would also provide an economic boon to the upper Connecticut Valley.
  by mbrproductions
 
The right of way to White River Junction from Concord is no longer existent, and hasn't been for decades, so the best you're going to go from Concord is Lincoln, which would be a good route anyway because Lincoln is right in the middle of the White Mountains, which could be good for tourism.
A Boston to Montreal Service could be ran originating from South Station via Worcester and Springfield or originating from North Station via Fitchburg where it would split off the PAS Freight Main Line at the Millers Falls wye and join the Vermonter in Brattleboro (the latter I prefer)
  by Red Wing
 
Couple of things. If you're going to Conway the best way to go is from Boston and up the Portsmouth, Great Falls and Conway, though there are some legal issues with line ownership and some of the line is ripped up.

I'm courious why you'd start going north in Millers Falls when you could go a few more miles west and pick up Greenfield? And if you're bringing back a Boston to Montreal train can we call it Red Wing? :-D

I also agree that if Amtrak actually pulled off a New Hampshire train I'd love to see it go all the way to Lincoln, there's quite a few vacation spots on the way.
  by mbrproductions
 
All interesting points, now that I look at it, it would definitely be better to go through Greenfield rather than split off at Millers Falls, and about the Lincoln route, the station stops I would propose after Concord would be:
Northfield/Titon
Laconia
Meredith
Ashland
Plymouth
Lincoln - White Mountains National Forest
  by mbrproductions
 
Of course all of this is just hypothetical, we don't even know if Amtrak actually has any true intention of even going to Concord, like Mr. Norman stated, the ConnectUS map is probably 80% pipe dreaming, even though most of the routes on it can be built without much relative difficulty, and even if the Boston to NH route is realized, the map itself shows no intention of going anywhere north of Concord, which is unfortunate because not only would it be scenic and popular for vacationists, but it would weaken the NH libertarian talking point of "It's not going to benefit anybody north of Concord", overall Boston - Lincoln seems like it would be a slam dunk of a route.
The Boston to Albany Corridor route on the other hand is making good progress, and with it connecting Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Pittsfield, and Albany with more frequent service, I can see why its getting the priority.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. MB service North of Plymouth, i.e. to Lincoln, was gone as of '57. There was still service to Berlin via White River Jct. How much beyond that it lasted...can't help you there. I guess The Late Mr. Nelligan could help. Anyone care to ask him?

All told, simply been "gone to long" to expect any resurrection to be viable
  by edbear
 
Berlin service lasted until early December 1961. At the end the crew consisted of engineer and conductor operating an RDC per short term modification of union manning agreement. When it came time to renew, the unions would not agree to the two-person crew and wanted the flag back. That ended Berlin service.
  by lordsigma12345
 
charlesriverbranch wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 11:46 am Does it make a difference that MBTA commuter rail runs across state lines?
Nope. The only real true difference between commuter and non commuter rail at least to the feds is how it’s funded. FRA regulates all railroads freight and passenger including commuter rail from an operations and safety point of view. It also regulates the service standards, grants and things like ADA for all federally funded passenger railroad services except those that are commuter rail. Commuter rail is that passenger rail that meets the definition of commuter rail as defined by the FTA and meets the more strict cost benefit and density requirements to receive mass transit dollars which is under the auspices of the FTA. Services which receive commuter rail funding are not eligible for FRA passenger rail grants except for instances where assets are shared with Intercity service. Metro North for example operates across state lines. Intercity funding also allows for incremental improvements while transit funding has more strict requirements and is more difficult to secure as far as cost to benefit.