In a post below NH Insider blogger Steve MacDonald decries the lack of jobs being created and essentially pins the blame on the administration and elected officials like Rep. Paul Hodes. I don’t agree.
Recently, I found this video on UTUBE of my favorite type of railroad locomotive idling in Lowell, Mass enroute to Maine. To some individuals looking at this video it might appear to be some weathered train engines with no real value. As a railfan not only do I see this differently, but as I see it, is a clear indication that jobs are in fact being created and the economy is improving or at least it is in Maine. New Hampshire still needs some leadership and hopefully the voters will consider this situation come November.
I won’t bore you with the statistics on the locomotives themselves; instead I’ll focus on the long-term policy meaning of their presence in this area of the world. The locomotives behind the two lead engines are SD-40s which were originally built in the early 1970s by the Electo-Motive division of General Motors. These units are primarily designed to haul long-heavy trains over considerable distance their horsepower, torque and gear ratios are designed for distance versus stop and go. These particular units have spent most of their careers on the Kansas City Southern, and its subsidiary TFM which operates into Mexico. The new owner of this power is the Pan Am Railways which operates throughout New England and as far west as Selkirk, New York. Pan Am Railways serves most of the paper industry in Maine.
This is why having these locomotives is an example of how the economy is actually improving. Pan Am would not have purchased these locomotives if traffic levels from places like Maine weren’t either stable or increasing. My sources tell me that the Maine paper industry has stabilized and the mills that are in operation are actually considering various capital investment plans and/or efforts to expand and improve their operations. This means jobs.
I’ve reported earlier about the upcoming referendum in Maine to ask voters to approve various projects ranging from expanded casino gaming to port development. I’m confident that the votes will be there. This will mean yet more jobs being created.
New Hampshire needs to a better job with economic development and job creation no argument there. But I think the starting place would be to identify the specific areas of weakness and need of improvement, the starting place here is Commissioner George Bald.
In the meantime it’s unfair to state that jobs aren’t being created because they are.