NH Rail Projects
The Granite State is already home to successful passenger rail projects, including Amtrak's Downeaster and the Vermonter. Additional rail projects are in the works, including the Plaistow Commuter Rail Extension, the Knowledge Corridor improvement project and the NH Capitol Corridor Study.
While there is some passenger rail service in the Granite State, there is no passenger rail service in along its busiest corridor—the 73-mile stretch from Concord to Boston along the Everett Turnpike and I-93 known as the NH Capitol Corridor. Each day nearly 165,000 vehicles travel this highly congested route. The NH Department of Transportation released the NH Capitol Corridor Study in February 2015, which evaluated the feasibility of extending passenger rail service from Boston to Concord.
NH Capitol Corridor
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) in cooperation with NHRTA, released the NH Capitol Corridor Study in February 2015 to evaluate passenger rail service and other transit alternatives like express bus service. The study results indicated extensive positive economic development impacts of expanding passenger rail including new jobs, commercial and residential real estate growth, and millions of dollars in reinvested worker earnings. Learn more here.
The Downeaster is a popular passenger rail service that has grown substantially from its initiation in 2001. Managed by the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, the Amtrak service provides five round trips per day between Portland, ME and Boston, with New Hampshire stops in Exeter, Durham and Dover. Learn more here.
The railroad corridor that travels through western Massachusetts into Vermont and New Hampshire, following the Connecticut River, has been termed the “Knowledge Corridor” in recognition of the colleges and universities along the route. The Amtrak Vermonter service currently operates on this corridor, with a daily stop in Claremont on its route between St. Albans, VT and Washington, DC. Stops in Vermont border communities, such as White River Junction, also serve New Hampshire residents.
In an effort to expand or enhance service along the Knowledge Corridor, several improvements are underway or are in the works. Neighboring states are also evaluating longer-term prospects for restoring rail service to Montreal. Learn more here.
Plaistow Commuter Rail Extension
NHDOT is sponsoring a study to evaluate extending the existing passenger rail service from Boston to Haverhill, Mass. to Plaistow. Currently, the MBTA line makes 10 daily round trips from Boston to Haverhill. Advocates have long sough to provide an alternative from the congested NH 125 corridor for commuters, students, and other travelers to and from Boston. Learn more here.