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Opinion: Will New Hampshire disconnect from America's rail network?

(The following column by Malcolm Taylor appeared on the Union Leader website on March 29, 2011.)

MANCHESTER, N.H. — There's a lot being said about whether to bring railroads back to New Hampshire and whether to rebuild the tracks for the return of passenger trains from Boston. This is a most important time to be discussing this, for the state Senate has before it a bill to abolish the New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority. If enacted into law, it would take us out of the running for federal rail planning and engineering funds.

Remember that rails don't just move passengers. We in northern New England are precariously at the end of this nation's food and energy pipeline. The costs of getting such heavy, bulky commodities as home heating oil, diesel, bituminous binder for our frost-heaved roads, building supplies, aggregates, salt and coal by truck are among the highest in the nation. For such loads, rails are many times more efficient, less costly and less damaging to our highways.

So shouldn't New Hampshire get on board?

The full column is on the Union Leader website.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

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