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Rail heads: Donchess pushes train fantasies

August 14. 2017 10:27PM

All aboard the Donchess Express!

Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess wants to build a train. More specifically, he wants the state and federal governments to pay to bring commuter rail to Nashua.

It’s a popular idea locally, where political and business leaders have long sold the fantasy of revitalizing downtown Nashua by building a bridge to the 18th century.

Donchess wants aldermen to set up the Nashua Rail Transit Committee, which would brainstorm ways of bringing the magic railroad to Nashua. Presumably, someone else would be paying for the project.

Rail enthusiasts keep wasting small dollars in their attempt to waste big dollars. A study committee here, $4 million in engineering work there, and they hope to build momentum for a $300 million boondoggle that would still rely on annual operating subsidies from taxpayers.

But since they haven’t gotten to the point where the big bills have come due, politicians like Donchess can continue to sprinkle small amounts of your money around.

There is no evidence that commuter rail increases regional economic activity. It might concentrate business around the train station, rather than in the suburbs, but that’s no reason for state and federal taxpayers to foot the bill.

If Mayor Donchess really wants to bring commuter rail to Nashua, why doesn’t he propose raising taxes on Nashua homeowners to pay for the project?

Transportation Travel and commuting Editorial Nashua

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