"Fink said the state asked for a proposal and "I gave them a proposal, a very Spartan proposal, that was the least costly. That did not meet with their approval; they wanted something much more costly. People think this money is free. It's not. It's our money." -David Fink, President Pan Am Railways responding to proposal to bring high-speed rail into New Hampshire.
And they wanted more.
The above quote is from today's Union Leader and and article by Garry Rayno relative to the state withdrawing its application for federal stimulus money for high-speed rail.
Who wanted more? Was it:
Former Senator Peter Burling.
I'm really pleased that New Hampshire has taken this action. I think this entire idea is flawed from the start. Starting out, I don't think Senator Burling and company have done any real analysis as to whether this project would even be viable from an economic standpoint. Evidence of this this if found by the lack of public representation on the railroad authority; and an obvious lack of communication with nearby states like Vermont that could help coordinate a service like this and provide greater transportation alternatives like high-speed rail.
I'm confident that in the next couple of days there will be a well worded press release from Senator Burling and company claiming that companies like the privately held Pan Am Railways undermined the efforts of the NH Rail Authority and of course there are various unexplained ideas for this whole expensive project to move forward. And likely, Amtrak based.
Senator Burling was the Democratic Minority Leader when I was in the NH House. I used to dread when he got up to go to the well to give a speech or even ask for personal privilege. His speeches were often over explained over simple issues; and to me he often displayed the condescending attitude: "I'm superior and I'm smarter than all of you so just do as your told and: "Madame Speaker would I now press the green button." as he quickly motions for all the democratic minions sitting in division II to follow him.
And they did.
Enough about Senator Burling. I don't think the time is right for New Hampshire to be pursing any type of capital investment toward passenger rail in any form. Cost is the issue followed by the population that would use this rail service. If passenger rail is to be successful I think recent history has shown that the regional approach is best supported by a strong grassroots efforts to support the rail service. The Amtrak Downeaster is an example of this. But the interesting point about the success of the Amtrak Doweaster is.
New Hampshire has not paid a dime.