Grant Applications

 

In today's edition of the Concord Monitor there is an article and an editorial about the capitol corridor and the continuing interest by a few to spend millions of dollars to bring 90 MPH passenger rail into Concord.

Former Senator Peter Burling is one of the few.

The article discusses billions of dollars in grant applications like its pocket change. The fundamental questions about this proposed service remain unanswered but yet Sen. Burling and the NH Rail Authority still want to proceed with the grant application.

Is this what the Legislature intended when it created the NH Rail Authority?

I think if some accurate market research were done it would show that there is not enough of a population between Boston-Concord to justify the massive capital investment to create this service. This statement is compounded by an already operating and successful bus service and never mind the continuing love affair americans have with their vehicles. Especially between Concord and Boston.

Of course the rail supporters including Sen. Burling have to bring up the popularity of the Amtrak Downeaster and I think they are trying to use this perception model as a basis for the capital corridor. The dynamics of the downeaster are completely different. The market is different and more importantly, the cost to the taxpayer is different.

Recently, on the Nashua Public Access Channel I watched an interview with the President of Pan Am Railways which is the owner of the capitol corridor trackage. Mr. Fink was discussing the NH state contract with Milford-Bennington Railroad at one point Fink said "Just let the sun shine in."

I think if the sun is allowed to shine in on the capitol corridor project the right thing will happen.