amtrak downeaster

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Backers of a plan to bring commuter rail to Nashua and Manchester say it’s finally time for the state to accept federal funds to complete a study of a potential train line.

Lawmakers are considering a bill, SB 241, that would use the funds to study the environmental, engineering and financial costs of a train line connecting the "capital corridor" with Massachusetts.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Construction on Amtrak’s Downeaster rail line will interrupt service for the next several weeks.

Fewer trains will run weekdays as Amtrak makes track improvements between Brunswick, Maine, and Dover, New Hampshire. Passengers can expect to complete some sections of the route via shuttle bus.

The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, which operates the Downeaster, says most fares have been reduced for impacted passengers during the construction period.

There is no planned reduction in weekend train trips, but riders will face construction delays.

Amtrak Train Crashes Into Car on Tracks in East Kingston

Nov 19, 2017
Courtesy / East Kingston Fire Department

Officials say Amtrak's Downeaster passenger train crashed into a car whose driver followed GPS directions onto train tracks in East Kingston.

East Kingston Fire Chief Ed Warren says a Good Samaritan saw headlights on the tracks and helped the driver escape from the car around 5 p.m. Saturday.

No one was hurt.

The East Kingston Fire Department reports that the driver says her Global Positioning System directed her to turn at that point, and her vehicle got stuck on the tracks. The Downeaster was traveling from Portland, Maine, to Boston, with 56 passengers.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Commuter rail fans in New Hampshire received some good news recently. A private train company is offering to connect Nashua and Bedford to Lowell, Mass., with the promise that the towns won’t be on the hook beyond the costs of maintaining a station. If you’ve been following commuter rail issues in New Hampshire for the past two decades, this funding scenario may jog some memories.