|For Immediate Release
September 30, 2009
Public Information Office
|State Will Not Apply For High Speed Rail Corridor Funding
Process Hampered By Impasse With The Host Railroad
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) has decided not to apply for $300 million in federal funding under the "High Speed Passenger Rail Program" that would have helped make possible passenger rail service along 39 miles of upgraded tracks from Nashua to Concord. The deadline for "Track 2 corridor service development and improvements" program applications is October 2, 2009.
"It’s very unfortunate that we are not able to take advantage of this huge window of opportunity for passenger rail in New Hampshire with any prospect of success at this time due to the lack of cooperation and involvement of Pan Am Railways, the host railroad along the corridor," says NHDOT Commissioner George Campbell. "By walking away from this unique and exciting initiative, Pan Am has effectively closed the window on strengthening New Hampshire’s economy. Our citizens and businesses along this corridor deserve better transportation choices than they have today."
Pan Am Railways announced on June 30 that it was no longer interested in either operating or hosting passenger rail along the rail corridor it owns. The State of New Hampshire is discussing with Amtrak its interest in operating passenger rail along the “NH Capital Corridor” (NHCC). Amtrak has successfully run the Downeaster service for the last decade and offers intercity rail service extensively across America.
The proposed NHCC passenger rail service would run on upgraded tracks between Boston and Concord, New Hampshire (approximately 78 miles), connecting Concord, Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and Nashua, New Hampshire with Boston’s North Station.
The State of New Hampshire has applied for $1.4 million in planning funds for the Capital Corridor project as part of the $8 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.