Control of 18-mile stretch of track could affect commuter rail's return to NH
Peter Leishman, owner of the Milford-Bennington Railroad, sounds the horn as his train nears a road crossing in this 2000 photo. (UNION LEADER FILE)
After the Executive Council rejected Clement's choice of Pan Am, the contract was put out to bid again. This time Leishman, a Peterborough Democrat, was selected to negotiate with the department.
Negotiations between Leishman and the DOT get underway as he pursues a complaint against the DOT commissioner for conduct in the last round of bidding. In a letter to Senior Assistant Attorney General Ann Rice, Leishman accused Clement of misrepresenting his first bid before the Executive Council.
If Leishman survives the latest round and gets a contract approved by the Executive Council, it will resolve uncertainty over rights to the track that has persisted since Leishman's last contract expired in 2009.
Leishman's company has operated the state-owned track for the past 20 years, mostly servicing a single customer, Granite State Concrete, in transporting crushed stone from a Wilton quarry to the company's processing plant in Bennington.
"We believe that there was definitely a bidding process," said Scarano. "We can't really comment on this one, because we didn't participate in it. However, we have been working with the NHDOT regarding passenger service throughout the state and will continue to do so."
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