Rail Advocates Say Private Funds Can Pay For Project Planning Process

Feb 29, 2016

Credit Photo by Tim Cummins via Flickr Creative Commons

Passenger rail advocates are holding a news conference today in Concord. They’re hoping the state will begin a planning process for a rail line between Manchester and Boston. 

The state had considered putting $4 million dollars for rail project development in the last capital budget, but lawmakers removed it.

Today, rail proponents such as Nashua mayor Jim Donchess will unveil a plan to pay for this work without using any state funds.

New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority spokesperson E.J. Powers creating detailed plans for rail financing, engineering and permitting will give a clearer picture of how and when a rail line might be built – and the range of sources that could pay for it: “the potential for federal funding, the potential for regional partners to contribute, to engage private businesses in public-private partnerships," he says.

The Capital Corridor study concluded a Manchester to Boston service with stops in Nashua would attract about 668,000 riders a year and lead to 5,600 new jobs by 2030.

Critics question those estimates and point to the costs of building the line, estimated at $246 million.