Some Financial Subsidies Are Good.

Vermont Rail System heads south from Arlington, Vermont. Hundreds of jobs and taxbase are supported by these trains.I’m often critical and negative on New Hampshire these days. I think special interest(s) are now in complete control of the state including much of its effective policy in issues ranging from transportation to the environment.

This as an example of how it’s going horribly wrong in New Hampshire:

This is a shot of a Vermont Rail System train moving south in Arlington, Vermont later this train will go down to North Bennington and Eagle Bridge, New York and interchange it’s cars with Pan Am Southern Railroad who will deliver a lot of them to their final destination: paper mills in Maine.

The train itself is privately owned while the tracks are owned by the State of Vermont. To my knowledge Vermont Rail System doesn’t receive any operating financial subsidies for its trains but the state does pay for all scheduled and emergency maintenance on the tracks the train does run on, which I do believe qualifies as a subsidy.

This train is also supporting hundreds of jobs and taxbase through the creation of the materials that are inside of the rail cars, a subsidy that leads to greater value than is actually given for the operation(s) of the trains. Let’s put this another way- take away the subsidy, stop the trains and the companies that use the rail would be forced to shut down and layoff their employees or relocate to a state that does have rail service. Vermont is getting it right.

So what is New Hampshire doing?

The state owns in excess of 500 miles of railroad track some of which is in strategic and vital areas like central NH for example. Unlike Vermont the state does nothing to cultivate or even encourage use of its lines to create jobs and build taxbase.

Nothing.

Instead Gov. Hassan and her Governor’s Council award a state contract to Nashua based interests for a $3.67 million dollar consultant feasibility study, a massive ivy league induced report that will say exactly what?

I’m sure Vermont could take that same $3.67 million and actually do something for the taxpayers.