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Thursday
Jan312013

Status Update: Rail. 

 

This will be a quick status update on my last stand and project involving the upcoming Executive Council vote for the state contract on the rail line known as the "capitol corridor."

Executive Councilor Ray Burton told me that the state contact should appear on the agenda for sometime in February, I'm checking the agenda now and I'll post the official item number as soon as I have it. It is my understanding that there won't be a public hearing on this expensive item however, Gov. Hassan does accept public comments at the start of every Executive Council meeting.  I'm still of the feeling that this vote will still go 4-1 a policy action that brings New Hampshire down with the ship.

Executive Councilor Van Ostern never called me back. Surprise. Surprise.

Last spring the NH Rail Transit Authority the fledgling oligopoly to be created stated that they would be studying freight rail as a part of their proposal. Soon they might not have anything to study. I'm now understanding that the main receiver on this line which is PSNH-Bow and it's weekly coal shipments may soon be announcing a conversion of the plant to natural gas as a fuel source.

If this comes to pass I woudn't find it surprising to see an abandonment filing for this railroad line. Regardless of whether New Hampshire and it's taxpayers want to pour in millions of dollars-- similar to keeping a dead corpse on life support.

Permanently.

Reader Comments (9)

Which brings up another canard: why is the Bow power plant still part of PSNH's domain, rather than divested to allow it to sink or swim in the free market alongside the Merrimack? Could some fat cat salaries be tied to its capital base?
– C. dog
January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterC. dog
I'd say the answer to this question would be yes.

But my own caveat would say that PSNH-Bow has supplied reliable, dependable baseload power at a low cost since it opened.

There has to be some credit given to management over this.
January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteven J. Connolly
But that low cost comes at some price: mercury and other pollutions that go up, up to the atmospheres where the sky's so clear, then come tumbling back down into fishies that we can't safely eat no more. Seems we would be much better off with less government supported monopoly, not more of the same-old.
– C. dog's caveat emptor
January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterC. dog
Why C. Dog did someone spike that Kool Aid you've been drinking?

Maybe it was Al Jazerra Al Gore. He cares deeply about the fish roaming the sea, especially the ones that give good massages.

Didn't you know that eventually everything comes back to the earth. Even the flawed politicians and their environmental awareness campaigns. Besides we need coal-- what else would West Virginia be without some tracts of trailer parks and a road litter with dented cans of Schlitz beer,
January 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteven J. Connolly
:-) Al Jazerra Gore, like top televangelists, knows how to do one thing very well: play to his libotomized audience and extract their pursed with aplomb. Maybe they've been eating to many fresh water fish from New England.
– C. dog drunk on cool-aid
February 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterC. dog
Not that I dispute your premise but it does seem a little self serving for a trucker to against rail expansion, don't you think? Again, I think you bring up some valid points about the short comings and costs of rail. However, with CSX talking about moving a ton of freight 500 miles on a gallon of gas, don't you think it's worth a peek at?
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/05/how-efficient-is-a-freight-train/
February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTroll
I'm not against rail expansion. I'm actually building a business plan around the movement of intermodal containers on the policy basis of what Vermont and Maine are doing with respect to rail.

I'd also place in BOLD letters: Vermont and Maine aren't raking the taxpayers over the coals the way New Hampshire and Lying Lozeau and Political Peter are.

Vermont and Maine are doing it the correct way the frugal, yankee way. And they'll be successful.

Please take some time Troll and do some research into CSX as I have. I think you'll find an interesting public relations agenda followed by facts that their profits are derived from the sale of real estate and mineral rights and not the movement of freight. If your looking for a successful freight railroad to follow I'd point you in the direction of Norfolk Southern.

Thank you for visiting my blog.
February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteven J. Connolly
Interesting stuff. Thanks for the pointers.
February 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTroll
Hey Troll –
Evidently, the Governmenters have not only peeked under the tracks, but actually studied these very same ones – not once, but twice – to determine if New Hamster, Inc could don an engineers cap and run Thomas the Tank Engine from Concord to the hallowed halls of Boston, you know, all efficiently and stuff. Guess what the answers were? If you're brave enough, you can mosey on over to jbartlettdotorg and take a peak yourself. It could be illuminating, like a mercury infused light going off over your head.
– C. dog shining light on stuffed pork sandwiches left in the memory hole
February 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterC. dog

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