Creating Jobs in Nashua.


Creating Jobs in Nashua.

The mainstream media is reporting that not long after the State of the Union address the president will be travelling to Tampa to unveil or outline the plan for high-speed rail in the U.S. Some of the projects include: California (Sacramento-San Diego), Florida (Tampa-Orlando) and at least one Midwest route. Absent from the list that I saw is the  Los Angeles to Las Vegas route and the Boston to Montreal via New Hampshire.

I’ll start this on a negative tone by stating why New Hampshire and the Boston to Montreal project probably won’t be going forward. For starters the state and its transportation policymakers (all levels) haven’t done the necessary prerequisites to make any of this happen. New Hampshire did not fund $50K its portion of the engineering feasibility study including the needed market analysis; policy coordination with the other states including Canada I think has been non-existent and it’s clear to me that from the onset that the engineering firm that was hired wasn’t interested in listening to anyone especially during the public hearings. The only real activity I’ve seen on this entire project is former Sen. Peter Burling who seemed to enjoy issuing press releases talking about the capitol corridor, but like its high-speed rail counterpart I don’t think the former senator has done any of the needed prerequisites to make any of this happen. Basically the idea of high-speed rail and the capitol corridor in New Hampshire makes for polite cocktail conversation but that’s about it. This is unfortunate. The last I’ve heard is Vermont, Massachusetts and Canada is now working in consortium to file another application without New Hampshire.

So what if the president when he comes to Nashua announces that the Boston-Montreal High-Speed Rail Project is moving forward?

Isn’t that what elected officials are supposed to do? This would be change. A tough issue but an idea that is worthy of consideration and the president could come to Nashua and make it happen.

If only it could happen.

I’m having these thoughts because both Florida and California actually faced hurdles greater than New Hampshire in the very idea of high-speed rail. I think that the Florida Tri-Rail and parts of Caltrans are examples of startup scratch operations that show that rail can work and be effective as a transportation source and in the long run create jobs.

This doesn't seem to be happening in New Hampshire.