• New Hampshire Commuter Rail Discussion

  • 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

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  by gokeefe
 
Arlington wrote:Then the question would be if BSRR could be nominated by MassDOT as operator of a Lowell to NH service, even as it nominates Keolis to operate its other lines. As long as the service is passenger, I don't see why it couldn't be legally papered to everyone's satisfaction.
I think there is a problem. Equipment ownership is a big one. Keolis operates MBTA owned equipment. BSRR is not that type of operation. I suspect Keolis might even have exclusive rights to operate MBTA equipment.
Arlington wrote:And I don't think MassDOT would consider BSRR "competition" (or call that a bad thing) any more than it calls the Downeaster competition--and it certainly considers the Downeaster officially a Good Thing. Everyone is fully aware of the "kinda" overlap with the Haverhill & Lowell lines, and everyone's happy with it as a mobility win, not a turf loss.

If the shareholders of BSRR are risk-seeking (dumb) enough to stake big $ on operating commuter service with MassDOT's blessing, I don't see why PAR would get to play spoiler.
While the MBTA has passenger rights that doesn't necessarily grant access to ancillary facilities and property. In that sense alone Pan Am could be extremely difficult to work with. It's almost upside down from the operating model on the rest of the T. Passenger rights on freight owned track as opposed to freight rights on passenger owned track.
  by Arlington
 
It can't be about equipment ownership. If ownership actually mattered, nobody'd ever operate anything given all the crazy ownership options out there (Wet lease, Dry Lease, owned, mortgaged, depreciation deals, and loco ownership different than the cars being pulled), so I'd conclude that vehicle ownership does not affect operator status (or need not, if you have the right lawyer). The Hoosier State was operated just fine by a private company, once Amtrak was arm-twisted into contributing its Amtrak-can-run-passenger-service rights. Here, I doubt you'd have to twist the T's arm to use rights they have no (near-term) intention of using (and no incentive to withhold)

Liability is the famous hang up, but BSRR was going to have to solve that for itself wherever it wanted to operate. Nobody--neither the T nor nor P&W nor PAR--would take on BSRR's liability just for the honor of having them operate, so I'd conclude BSRR's going to have to get their own liability insurance.

Everything I've read indicates the T got the whole package: The T cut the PAR side-deal on the Lechmere swap precisely to enable passenger service to NH. I doubt they overlooked the need for passengers to access the tracks/platforms, but yes, BSRR may struggle to find a siding to park on overnight.
  by gokeefe
 
Well that's a very fair point. So liability is one problem.

In terms of access I was referring to BSRR being able to be on Pan Am property for anything other than a train on main line rails (eg truck access for servicing etc). I agree the siding could be a problem as well but even that doesn't answer if you can get trackside ...
  by b&m 1566
 
I know this is old news but I just came across this article and I must say, the quote below has surprised me,
A 2015 Public Policy Poll indicated 74-percent of New Hampshire residents support passenger rail expansion.
I thought the number would be much closer to the 50/50 mark. Unfortunately, the article doesn't cite a source for this poll but if the poll does give us any indication of what the citizens want, then it confirms the politicians we've voted in, are not listing to us.
  by BandA
 
When talking about a poll, you need to know what question was asked. Also, everybody is for more services - until they find out the price tag.
  by b&m 1566
 
Exactly, that's why I'm taking it as a grain of salt. It would be nice if they cited the source, so I could see it for myself and also to try and figure out who could answer the poll; out of state people will cloud up those numbers real quick.
  by gokeefe
 
I'll bet 74 percent or more would oppose using state funds to run it ...
  by BandA
 
That's a good thing! There aren't enough state funds to pay for operating subsidies.
  by newpylong
 
Of course they do, look at where the bulk of the population is...
  by b&m 1566
 
Well, it finally happened. NH finally passed a bill that will allow the NHDOT to access federal money to complete a study that pro-rail advocates have been pushing for year, after year, after year.
The New Hampshire Senate has voted to approve a bill that would allow the Transportation Department to access existing federal funds to complete a commuter rail expansion analysis from Boston to Nashua and Manchester.
Click here to read the rest of the article.
  by Arlington
 
Isn't this support from the legislature something new though?

Maybe I am misremembering the situation, but hasn't most of the recent oscillation actually been in 3to2 and 2to3 votes in the governor's council?
  by p42thedowneaster
 
Wonder if that's because they only included Nashua and Manchester? Might make sense to have it go right to the MHT terminals and stop. Anything north of the airport would probably work better as scenic rail at this point.
  by gokeefe
 
This is a big deal. Support is now so strong that opponents are conceding Manchester and Nashua both want it. They never would have admitted that in the past.
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