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Survey: New Hampshire residents support passenger-rail expansion


Nearly 76 percent of New Hampshire residents support passenger-rail service expansion from Boston to Nashua and Manchester, New Hampshire, according to a survey conducted by the Saint Anselm College Survey Center. 

The poll indicates that 75.5 percent of residents support the expansion, 14.5 percent oppose it and 10 percent had no opinion. 

Responses were based on phone interviews with 698 randomly selected registered New Hampshire voters, according to a New Hampshire Business for Rail Expansion press release. 

In 2015, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) released a study of a New Hampshire Capitol Corridor rail expansion project. Funding and a financial plan is required before the project can enter a development phase.

In February, the New Hampshire State Senate approved Bill 241, which would allow NHDOT to access existing federal funding to complete the project development phase. The New Hampshire House of Representatives Public Works and Highways Committee is scheduled to hear public testimony for the Senate Bill on May 22, NH Business for Rail Expansion officials said.

A project funding mechanism is also included in House Bill 2, which is the biennial budget bill.

Senate Bill 241 and the provision in House Bill 2 calls for using a "minuscule portion" of the state’s toll credits to leverage federal dollars designated to fund the analysis, NH Business for Rail Expansion officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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