• Plymouth & Lincoln Railroad (HOBO, Winnipesaukee Scenic)

  • 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 BostonUrbEx
Is there any reason rail-with-trail is not feasible? Seems like a perfectly reasonable corridor for rail-with-trail, but the people pushing this trail the hardest obviously have an anti-rail agenda they aren't admitting to.
  by b&m 1566
WOW Trail leaders and organizers are going to, or trying to go the cheapest route possible. Because causeways exist north of Lakeport, it will require extensive construction building beside the tracks and to build their own pedestrian bridges. They are going to try like hell to twist the numbers in their favor; they will be the bigger economic drive than the train, they will be able to better utilize the ROW to it's full potential and they will pull out the environmental card, saying the tracks are polluting the water. I'm sure there's going to be much more mudslinging than what I just mentioned but that's all I can come up with at the moment. You only have to look at other similar situations going on around the country with Rails to Trails, to get an idea of what we are about to deal with. When I say "we", I really mean the P&LRR and NEGS, they're the ones that will ultimately be fight against the WOW Trail and the City of Laconia. The state seems to be playing the neutral card at the moment.
  by b&m 1566
After the state sent out their letter last year, I thought this issue had been put to bed, so needless to say I moved on (judging by the lack of post in this thread regarding this issue, it seems like everyone else did too), little did I know the city of Laconia had a rebuttal to the states letter and the push for the trail has continued. Fast forward to this past June, there was a letter to the editor of the Concord Monitor (not sure if it was in conjunction with an article they wrote or a concerned citizen voicing their opinion) that I though was well written.
I am deeply concerned and alarmed regarding the recent proposals to tear up a section of the Concord-Lincoln rail line that runs through Laconia in order to make way for an extension to the WOW trail.
This would be a grave mistake, both for the city and the state.
The Concord-Lincoln line remains an active rail line, one that hosts no less than three different railroad companies: the Plymouth and Lincoln Railroad, Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train and the New England Southern railroad, which is the sole provider of freight rail service in central New Hampshire. These companies provide a crucial boost to the state’s economy. Severing the line would result in the truncation of New England Southern’s northern service limit, as well as completely severing the Plymouth and Lincoln Railroad and the Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train from the remainder of the U.S. rail network. This cannot happen.
Click here to read the rest.
  by b&m 1566
Take notice, former president of the WOW Trail, Diane Hanley, is running for State Legislator and is also a former member of the NH State Trails Advisory Committee.
To Gilford and Meredith voters: I am asking for your vote on Tuesday, November 6th. I am running as a Democrat for state representative for the District 2 towns of Gilford and Meredith.
I have lived in N.H. for 20 years and Gilford for 10 years and grew up in a military family before that. I am a former science professor at Lakes Region Community College and have had the opportunity to volunteer extensively in the community over those years. This includes being president of the WOW Trail and serving on Laconia and Gilford Conservation Commissions. I am a member and current president of the Lake Winnipesaukee Association and a former appointee to the N.H. Lakes Management Advisory Committee and the State Trails Advisory Committee.

Read the rest of the article here.
  by b&m 1566
Buttering up the support for the rail trail. I would really love to know how they came up with 1 million a mile to build the trail next to the tracks, it seems to me they took the general term used in the railroad industry for building a mile of track.
Beetle said it costs about $1 million per mile to build a trail alongside the tracks, while building it over the railbed would cost about $100,000 per mile.

“This has a significant potential impact,” he said, “but it’s a longshot.”
The state owns the corridor and the law gives railroads top priority over other uses.
“Clearly, there is significant opposition” to removing the rails, Beetle said, according to a video recording of the meeting. “Clearly, it won’t happen without new legislation — it’s against the law to take those tracks up — but we believe it’s a question this community should be asking.”
Laconia Daily Sun
  by backroadrails
$100,000.00 a mile if they were to tear out the tracks? Yeh I doubt that, it would cost just that to buy enough gravel or other aggregates to cover up the ballast let alone surface it with pavement, and pay for the disposal of the ties. I believe the going rate for pavement is $1,000,000.00 a mile for a two lane road, and the trail would be the width of about one lane so that’s $500,000.00 a mile.
  by b&m 1566
https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news/lo ... db3db.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

A consultant has been hired to study the rail corridor. Looks like the city of Laconia lied to the tax payers, originally the WOW Trail was going to pay $10,000 for the study through donations, the city is now footing the bill for close to $40,000 for the study.

Word on the street, there a people already pushing behind the scenes to get legislative action to change the stance that rail takes priority.
  by BowdoinStation
The timing, sadly, could be ripe in the State House with both the NH House & Senate with Democratic majorities to change the statutes, though I think it would be a battle royale. The article in the Laconia Sun was woefully biased to the WOWees and failed to mention that the area impacted would be the very active Weirs Beach to Lakeport portion of the line, obviously the President of the Laconia Sun is also the Mayor of Laconia, talk about allegedly controlling the narrative. The Winnipesaukee Scenic is a successful business that helps attract people to the area, their route offers great lake views on most of their run, and especially south of Weirs Beach. Ripping up a section of the rails will croak both the Hobo and Winnipesaukee Scenic operation. A rail trail will never bring in that kind of revenue, and employment that the Hobo/Winni Scenic offers, plus the neighbors who have their waterfront homes in a rather secluded area want ZERO to do with the WOW Trail going through their neighborhood at all costs. New England Southern just ran 3 cars of loaded ties to Meredith, they came back with a MBTA Caboose furnished at the Hobo Shops in Lincoln.
  by b&m 1566
https://www.unionleader.com/news/politi ... 42fc8.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It does appear more and more that certain people are pushing for legislation changes to the rail corridor. Supposedly those proposed changes will be made public early next year .
  by b&m 1566
My understanding is that state law requires the entire line from Concord to Lincoln to remain under common carrier status and prohibits the state from ever abandoning the corridor. Changing the law would allow the state DOT to petition the STB for abandonment at some point, if so desired. This is the very reason the trail advocates are pushing for legislation to change the law, they are powerless until that law is changed.
  by p42thedowneaster
I'm surprised the BC&M never built a bypass around the lakes area. (Tilton to Plymouth). Looking at the map today, it's hard to see a HSR corridor needlessly stepping through all those crossings and curves....all of it a good 10 miles to the east of the direction they're heading.
  by b&m 1566
There was the Bristol Branch, off of the Northern; I don't know if there were any plans to have it continue on to Ashland or not but I wonder what the B&M would have done, had there been an alternate route. One can speculate the Bristol Branch would have become the main line up to Plymouth via Ashland, with Ashland to Laconia becoming local traffic only. In later years the line north of Lakeport probably would have been abandoned to Ashland after the demise of passenger service. You could even speculate the B&M, would have upgraded the Franklin Branch, to service the Laconia area and abandon the White Mountain south to Concord.

Anyways there was a letter to the editor in the Laconia Daily Sun. It was a nice rebuttal to a newpaper company that is pro WOW Trail and quickly becoming anti-rail. https://www.laconiadailysun.com/opinion ... pHBasPUT_8" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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