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NHDOT Holds First Meeting On Rail Expansion Study

Jonathan Lynch

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation held a meeting in Manchester Wednesday night to glean public input on expanding passenger rail service between New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

The event marked the first of three such meetings to be held as part of a study commissioned by the state to determine the viability of commuter rail expansion from Concord to Boston.

Representatives from the NHDOT identified several key concerns to be addressed in the study, including the environmental impact of expanded passenger rail service and the costs involved with updating existing rail infrastructure.

The NHDOT also proposed several sites for developing commuter rail stations, including downtown Manchester, Concord, and Nashua.

Most of those who spoke during the public segment of the meeting supported expanded rail service.

Wayne Gagnon of Keene grew up riding trains throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire and says the return of passenger service is completely viable today:

“I’ve been in the cab of every locomotive that Boston and Maine ever had from 1952 to 1985. I’ll tell you, commuter rail is viable.”

The study is set to finish by December of 2014.

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