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Derailed: The Senate can save $4 million

April 26. 2018 8:20PM

The Senate next week should stop the commuter rail insanity at the State House, at least for this year.

The Senate Transportation Committee voted this week to remove a $4 million study from the state’s 10-year highway plan, and sent its recommendations for a vote on the Senate floor next week.

The study won’t teach us anything. It would spend $4 million to scout out engineering details for a $300 million project that should never be built.

Railheads in Concord have spent plenty of money studying the Capitol Corridor project. Even the best-case scenarios would put New Hampshire taxpayers on the hook for annual operating subsidies, even if New Hampshire could get the massive startup construction costs from Uncle Sam.

Commuter rail supporters argue that connecting Nashua, Manchester, and Concord to rail lines in Massachusetts would attract young workers to the Granite State. We would expect more people to ride the train down to Boston. Why should New Hampshire taxpayers pay for someone to commute to a job out of state?

Taking the commuter rail study out of the 10-year highway plan won’t snap railheads out of their 19th- century fantasies. But it will save $4 million.

Transportation Editorial

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