NH looking to improve Downeaster infrastructure

Posted March 01, 2012, at 2:06 p.m.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — A new plan for New Hampshire’s railroad system calls for improving passenger rail service without helping pay direct subsidies for two trains serving the state.

Kit Morgan, of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, speaking in Portsmouth, says a priority is to continue Amtrak’s Downeaster service that runs up the coast to Maine and the Vermonter, which runs up the Connecticut River valley.

Currently, the states of Maine and Vermont pay $12 million to subsidize the two trains. New Hampshire isn’t offering to help subsidize the services, but instead wants to support passenger rail with infrastructure improvements such as track and station upgrades.

Foster’s Daily Democrat reported Bob Hall of the Exeter Train Station Committee said it’s “a miracle” New Hampshire is served by the trains without contributing.