Letter: Transportation conversation should include rail, too
I applaud the recent Monitor editorial on the creative ideas, like the Boston-Montreal hotel train, that could help bring greater rail options to our state (“The slooooooooow route to Montreal,” Dec. 9). But it should be pointed out that the Saint Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad’s line from Portland to Montreal is well maintained and can easily support passenger rail service, as can the line the Downeaster uses from Boston to Portland. The line from Nashua to Concord, however, is in rough shape in comparison and would take a major effort for a train were to run at faster than 15 miles per hour on it. And that would take state and federal funds.
To those who think that is a bad use of money, remember that last week the New Hampshire Department of Transportation said it would not be able to maintain its road and bridge network with the tax revenue it currently gets. That will mean higher taxes just to close the gap in the short term and new funding sources in the long term. So, no, roads are not free – we all pay for them, just like rail. And, as with rail, not maintaining infrastructure is costly in the long run. So, yes, let’s expand the conversation to include rail again.
JAYME H. SIMOES