• New Hampshire House Bill 135

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

  by b&m 1566
Law makers are working on a bill that would require the NHDOT, to be more transparent on leasing practices of state owned railroad property and who they lease to. Although this law is going after the old W. Lebanon railyard, it will naturally effect all state owned rail lines. The bill is aimed to give local municipalities the power to govern what goes on, on state owned railroad property and to be able to enforce local ordnances.
Lebanon — Lebanon lawmakers in the New Hampshire House are proposing new legislation aimed at increasing accountability and communication surrounding the state’s railroad properties, including the historic Westboro Rail Yard in West Lebanon.
The bill, House Bill 135, would require the state Department of Transportation to notify communities when it intends to lease railroad properties within their boundaries.
The measure also would require any lessees and sublessees to “comply with the same municipal regulatory and safety code requirements as private property owners.”

Local communities should also be allowed to enforce their own regulatory and safety regulations on a rail property, he said. Those could include zoning and planning regulations.

Click here to read the rest of the article.
  by NHV 669
Gonna have the same luck as the Grafton and Upton folks... It's not Rymes' job to clean up the Superfund site that the B&M left behind.

The city of Lebanon/State of NH have let that site sit and rot for four decades, and only want to do something because propane storage is "scary". The state only fenced the area off AFTER some of the buildings started caving in.
  by BandA
Let's imagine a railroad traversing ten municipalities. If you took a lease, that lease would be subject to ten conflicting town regulations by town boards that have never regulated transportation beyond the roads the town owns. And not just the regulations in effect at the beginning of the lease - each town could change the rules after the lease is signed. Nobody would want to sign something like that.
  by craven
Wondering if this is inside workings of the city of Laconia and the WOW Trail folks.
  by NHV 669
No, Lebanon, and their city politicians. Hence the reason it's in the Valley News, and not the Laconia rag.
  by b&m 1566
If this becomes state law, it will be for the entire state not just in Lebanon, unless they specify a certain lot of land. I don't see it happening though because, as we all know railroads and railroad property are exempted from local and state oversight, regardless if its owned by the state. Whether or not someone brings this to the STB attention, remains to be seen. This bill if passed, could affect all state-owned railroad properties if written in the broad sense and unchallenged before the STB. If it goes that way, then I could see it benefiting those in Laconia and the WOW Trail, because this could mutate itself into how lease agreements are worked out with railroad operators, since they themselves are leasing.
  by NHV 669
Such as, If a scenario were to play out similar to the Catskill Mountain RR, having parts of their line torn up, although their track was in quite rough shape to begin with. It's a necessary corridor for several RR businesses, I don't think the trail folks have half a leg to stand on.
  by newpylong
This will set a dangerous precedent, but will lose in federal court should it pass here.
  by b&m 1566
I'm not familiar with political terminology, so I had to look that one up.
When the committee votes an Inexpedient to Legislate report it means they will not pass the bill in the current session. If the whole House then votes to accept the committee's report to Inexpedient to Legislate, it means they agree the bill should not pass.
That's great news, hopefully it gets squashed permanently.