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Old 12-05-2018, 08:28 AM   #1
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Default Wow trail

City is spending 40k for a feasibility study on the extension of the trail.

https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news...315ddb3db.html



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Old 12-05-2018, 01:37 PM   #2
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Default Another Lie

Quote:
Originally Posted by joey2665 View Post
City is spending 40k for a feasibility study on the extension of the trail.

https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news...315ddb3db.html



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Yet another lie from our City Council to the taxpayers of Laconia. We were told that they would spend $10K, and that the WOW Trail organization would cover it. Disappointing.

The good news is that the WOW Trail extension to Meredith seems impossible based on the financial and non-financial obstacles.
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:40 PM   #3
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The good news is that the WOW Trail extension to Meredith seems impossible based on the financial and non-financial obstacles.
Forgive my ignorance, but why would this be considered good news?
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:42 PM   #4
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Forgive my ignorance, but why would this be considered good news?


I guessing Major is against extending the trail


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Old 12-05-2018, 01:48 PM   #5
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Forgive my ignorance, but why would this be considered good news?
1. Waste of taxpayer money for construction and maintenance, especially given its limited use.
2. Bad for the environment, especially during construction.
3. Impinges on the rights of landowners along the trail.
4. If the organizers get their wish, it will eliminate a profitable rail car enterprise.
5. Will create an unsightly fence all along Paugus Bay.
6. It's a continuance of an avenue of egress for criminals who inhabit the present trail.
7. The WOW Trail is merely a feel good endeavor for Laconia elites.

I'm sure I forgot some. Jetskiier can fill in the gaps!
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Old 12-05-2018, 02:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Major View Post
1. Waste of taxpayer money for construction and maintenance, especially given its limited use.
2. Bad for the environment, especially during construction.
3. Impinges on the rights of landowners along the trail.
4. If the organizers get their wish, it will eliminate a profitable rail car enterprise.
5. Will create an unsightly fence all along Paugus Bay.
6. It's a continuance of an avenue of egress for criminals who inhabit the present trail.
7. The WOW Trail is merely a feel good endeavor for Laconia elites.

I'm sure I forgot some. Jetskiier can fill in the gaps!
Thank you for clarifying your position. To be clear, I haven't formed an opinion on the trail one way or the other, but I'm a year-round Meredith resident so found your original comment interesting. A rebuttal to your 7 points from a "devil's-advocate" standpoint.

1. That's what the study is for, to determine if it's worth the investment. I grant you that one could argue that 40K for the study is waste enough.
2. No worse than any other construction, so should we just avoid improving any infrastructure? In today's society, DES would ensure that the environmental impacts would be minimal.
3. I'm not going to address this one. This forum has seen too much back and forth regarding whether the WOW trail is impinging on the rights of abutting landowners. I understand both sides and each person needs to make their own judgement.
4. There's no reason the two can't co-exist.
5. What's unsightly to some may be aesthetically pleasing to someone else. I haven't seen the fence design and have not even seen confirmation that a fence the full length of the trail would be required. There are already many unsightly things along Paugus Bay, a fence would be the least of our worries.
6. This is unfounded and amounts to fear-mongering IMO.
7. I know many good people on both sides of the issue. They are spread up and down the socioeconomic spectrum. Some would counter that it is a few "Laconia Elites" in a certain gated community that are the project's biggest objectors, so declaring the WOW Trail a movement propelled by "Laconia Elites" really isn't accurate.

Again, I very much respect your position on the issue, just merely playing devil's advocate.
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Old 12-05-2018, 02:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TheVoiceOfReason View Post
Thank you for clarifying your position. To be clear, I haven't formed an opinion on the trail one way or the other, but I'm a year-round Meredith resident so found your original comment interesting. A rebuttal to your 7 points from a "devil's-advocate" standpoint.

1. That's what the study is for, to determine if it's worth the investment. I grant you that one could argue that 40K for the study is waste enough.
2. No worse than any other construction, so should we just avoid improving any infrastructure? In today's society, DES would ensure that the environmental impacts would be minimal.
3. I'm not going to address this one. This forum has seen too much back and forth regarding whether the WOW trail is impinging on the rights of abutting landowners. I understand both sides and each person needs to make their own judgement.
4. There's no reason the two can't co-exist.
5. What's unsightly to some may be aesthetically pleasing to someone else. I haven't seen the fence design and have not even seen confirmation that a fence the full length of the trail would be required. There are already many unsightly things along Paugus Bay, a fence would be the least of our worries.
6. This is unfounded and amounts to fear-mongering IMO.
7. I know many good people on both sides of the issue. They are spread up and down the socioeconomic spectrum. Some would counter that it is a few "Laconia Elites" in a certain gated community that are the project's biggest objectors, so declaring the WOW Trail a movement propelled by "Laconia Elites" really isn't accurate.

Again, I very much respect your position on the issue, just merely playing devil's advocate.
Thanks. I enjoy the debate. I will address your comments in reverse order.

7. I grew up in Laconia, and trust me, none of the Laconia elites live in SD/LB. They are comprised of small business owners in the area. I can name names, but don't think it's worthwhile.

6. Regarding whether the WOW Trail is an avenue of egress for criminals, it's not opinion but fact. In another thread (I couldn't find it), the City published the number of incidents (calls) for the WOW Trail. It's staggering, something like 150 incidents over a six-year period. This number does not include the number of homeless people living in camps off of the WOW Trail that require evacuation from time-to-time. Also, I've had conversations with a former police chief who described the WOW Trail as an "avenue of egress" for criminals. The police are instructed to publicly downplay the criminal element, but privately, they hate the WOW Trail since it makes policing difficult.

5. Regarding the fence, if the trail and the railroad coexist, I'm pretty sure a fence is required. A fence will most certainly be required through SD/LB and in front of other private property if only for liability reasons.

4. WOW Trail organizers are going to make a heavy push for legislation to eliminate the railroad. If successful, this will achieve at least two advantages. It reduces the cost of construction. It also eliminates some huge design issues with Pickerel and Perch Coves.

3. Agreed.

2. Removing the railroad would incur some huge environmental issues caused by the chemically treated rail ties.

1. As a taxpayer, I don't want to pay for it.
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Old 12-05-2018, 04:25 PM   #8
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Since this is an active Railroad I see no justification that it should be eliminated.

If this rail spur is abandoned then it starts a different discussion.

Safety is a major issue for both to coexist next to each other. Additionally, personal safety "could" be an issue due to potential criminal activity.



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Old 12-05-2018, 04:58 PM   #9
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As far as the fence goes, there are current 2 types of fences along the trail. Near the Belmont line there is a very nice would rail fence but in most of the Laconia portion it is an unsightly chain link fence that would look absolutely terrible along the lakefront.
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:04 PM   #10
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My opinion is that the trail extension is supported by a few people who need a consulting firm to come up with the justification for its construction.



What is the status of the Colonial Theatre project?

I did not live in Laconia when that project was considered, accepted and started.

Is there a parallel to what is happening with the WOW trail?

How much tax payer money went into the still closed theatre?

If the theatre ever gets finished, where will people park to see a performance?

The downtown parking garage has safety issues and likely needs to be replaced.



Why is the city wasting money on studying the WOW Trail extension when these two items are in need?

See the opinion offered at the begining of this post.

BTW...

$40K could buy a good part of the annual salary for a police officer or teacher.
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:39 PM   #11
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Has the east side of Paugus Bay been ruled out? The tracks that went up that side are obviously abandoned. Much more commercial opportunities. Still can get to the Weirs and/or Gilford.

The commercial opportunities on the west side are what? SD/LB Grandchildren’s lemonade stands?

BTW, have you counted how many registered offenders are in the Lake Port area?

https://www.familywatchdog.us/showmap.asp


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Old 12-06-2018, 05:42 AM   #12
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Why does the city have to pay the 40k for a feasibility study. Shouldn’t this be paid from funds raised by the WOW Trail organization? This is their project not a city project.


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Old 12-06-2018, 07:00 AM   #13
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Most of my family is from Cape Cod (yeah - I'm a recovering masshole...) . I remember the same battle playing out and the many of the exact same arguments being made against the Cape Cod rail trail. Now in its 4th decade, it is a huge tourist draw and real estate adjacent to the trail commands a significant premium.

Wolfeboro has a rather nice and heavily used railtrail and to the best of my knowledge there is no significant crime that occurs along the trail.
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:34 AM   #14
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Most of my family is from Cape Cod (yeah - I'm a recovering masshole...) . I remember the same battle playing out and the many of the exact same arguments being made against the Cape Cod rail trail. Now in its 4th decade, it is a huge tourist draw and real estate adjacent to the trail commands a significant premium.



Wolfeboro has a rather nice and heavily used railtrail and to the best of my knowledge there is no significant crime that occurs along the trail.


I really don’t think crime is a big issue. Nothing will change what’s the difference if them “criminals” walk along the current tracks or a trail. I had my home broken into by criminals coming into Long Bay from the tracks.

I am in favor of the trail but with the following caveats:

1. There must be an amicable agreement with the majority of owners along the trail including developments like South Down and Long Bay

2. NO chain link fencing, it must be esthetically pleasing and have sufficient access points to the lake.

3. The rail road must remain

4. Funding MUST NOT come from the city, raising money privately as they first two phases were

Given my stance I seriously doubt the next phase will be completed




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Old 12-06-2018, 07:35 AM   #15
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I have been a Rails to Trails member in Florida and have biked and walked several of them while on vacation and enjoy it very much.
Those trails, however, do not require fences or run in front of peoples homes.
I can't imagine a 4 mile long chain link fence across the entire Paugus Bay waterfront. Not only would it be unsightly but deer and other animals would be cut off from the water.
I have no dog in this fight since I don't live anywhere near South Down and my concern is the impact on our beautiful shore front.
My suggestion would be to let it go....The WOW trail organizers mean well but it seems that they have accomplished their goal. The trail extends from Winnisquam to Winnipesaukee
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:18 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winnipiseogee View Post
Most of my family is from Cape Cod (yeah - I'm a recovering masshole...) . I remember the same battle playing out and the many of the exact same arguments being made against the Cape Cod rail trail. Now in its 4th decade, it is a huge tourist draw and real estate adjacent to the trail commands a significant premium.

Wolfeboro has a rather nice and heavily used railtrail and to the best of my knowledge there is no significant crime that occurs along the trail.
Wolfeboro has a different demographic than Laconia, which has a disproportionate share of Section 8 housing and several drug treatment centers. If you spend any time in downtown Laconia you will be sure to see the criminal element.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:35 PM   #17
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3. The rail road must remain

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Joey - Everything else you mention seems to make sense but I've got to ask - and I'm doing so in good faith but relative ignorance - why is it so important for the railroad to remain?

I've lived in the lakes region full time for about 15 years. For a long time I owned a house on Meredith bay opposite the rail road tracks. I own a business that abutts the tracks. After selling my house on the bay I kept my boat at Meredith Marina. In all that time I've only seen the train running maybe half a dozen times at most.

I just googled their website and I'm amazed that it shows that many scheduled runs. I guess it must be used a lot but I never see it.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:56 PM   #18
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Joey - Everything else you mention seems to make sense but I've got to ask - and I'm doing so in good faith but relative ignorance - why is it so important for the railroad to remain?

I've lived in the lakes region full time for about 15 years. For a long time I owned a house on Meredith bay opposite the rail road tracks. I own a business that abutts the tracks. After selling my house on the bay I kept my boat at Meredith Marina. In all that time I've only seen the train running maybe half a dozen times at most.

I just googled their website and I'm amazed that it shows that many scheduled runs. I guess it must be used a lot but I never see it.
It is someone's going concern that has been a successful business for years. I had lived in Long Bay for 10 years about 250 yards from the tracks and I also enjoys using the railroad at least once a year (My guests love it also) and it adds character and ambiance to the area. I'm still in the area just a bit further from the tacks now, I do miss hearing it and watching it go by from my old deck.
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:38 PM   #19
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Just a few questions:

Didn't most, if not all, of the people in SD/LB know prior to purchasing their homes that the development did not own the waterfront so their input and approval was not necessary to get the WOW trail built?

Would the same people who object to the WOW trail now have objected if the railroad was not there and someone was now suggesting putting down tracks and having a train go by and blow the whistle several times a day?

What is more intrusive: People walking on a trail or a train that goes by blowing the whistle several times per day?
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:48 PM   #20
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Just a few questions:

Didn't most, if not all, of the people in SD/LB know prior to purchasing their homes that the development did not own the waterfront so their input and approval was not necessary to get the WOW trail built?

Would the same people who object to the WOW trail now have objected if the railroad was not there and someone was now suggesting putting down tracks and having a train go by and blow the whistle several times a day?

What is more intrusive: People walking on a trail or a train that goes by blowing the whistle several times per day?
1) I purchase over the years in both SD and LB and it was NEVER disclosed to me on any document that the HOA's did not own the waterfront property

2) I'm sure they would have (for the record give the guidelines I presented in an above post I am in favor of the trail)

3) I don't think given the current structure either is intrusive


Love to hear what Jet Skier has to say. We differ in opinion but I do respect his side.
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:31 PM   #21
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BTW, have you counted how many registered offenders are in the Lake Port area?

https://www.familywatchdog.us/showmap.asp


Wow, there are a LOT. Who knew it was that many? Not me....
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:52 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by winnipiseogee View Post
Joey - Everything else you mention seems to make sense but I've got to ask - and I'm doing so in good faith but relative ignorance - why is it so important for the railroad to remain?

I've lived in the lakes region full time for about 15 years. For a long time I owned a house on Meredith bay opposite the rail road tracks. I own a business that abutts the tracks. After selling my house on the bay I kept my boat at Meredith Marina. In all that time I've only seen the train running maybe half a dozen times at most.

I just googled their website and I'm amazed that it shows that many scheduled runs. I guess it must be used a lot but I never see it.


Because the rail corridor is under common carrier status and subject to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) jurisdiction. A petition for abandonment would have to be filed with them and approved by them, be for any rail can be pulled up. That's kind of hard to do when you have two operating railroads on the line.
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Old 12-06-2018, 05:39 PM   #23
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1) I purchase over the years in both SD and LB and it was NEVER disclosed to me on any document that the HOA's did not own the waterfront property

2) I'm sure they would have (for the record give the guidelines I presented in an above post I am in favor of the trail)

3) I don't think given the current structure either is intrusive


Love to hear what Jet Skier has to say. We differ in opinion but I do respect his side.
Hi Joey,

Sorry about the late entry into the discussion. I was in California with a client and just got back into town on the red eye this morning.

The frontage along Paugus was "taken" by the state in (I believe) 1973 when B&M railroad could not afford to make repairs to the tracks north of Meredith. A section of the track washed out and there was an active paper mill serviced by the railroad at that time. The taking by the state was explicitly to preserve the integrity of the rail system and specific to railroad use.

OK, right now there is a legislative action in draft in Concord that will become public in early January. The prevailing belief is that it is intended to create an abandonment of the railroad to re-purpose the rail bed for rails-to-trails vs. rails-with-trails. See the link below.

There are two active rail users of the proposed extension to the WOW trail. One is the Hobo railroad that provides the tourist excursions several times per day during the summer. The second is the New England Southern Railroad (see attached picture) which is an active freight line. The New England Southern Railroad has runs up to Lincoln predominantly in the spring and fall when the Hobo railroad is not operating. They carry large freight including rail cars for the MBTA in Boston.

SD and LB both have rights of access to the lake and I have never heard of any disclosure regarding the disposition of the taking as historically it has not had any bearing on the community. I certainly had no disclosure when I bought my property.

I think that shutting down two active businesses to construct a recreational trail is not rational from any perspective.


http://www.unionleader.com/news/poli...d8c442fc8.html
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Old 12-06-2018, 05:50 PM   #24
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Because the rail corridor is under common carrier status and subject to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) jurisdiction. A petition for abandonment would have to be filed with them and approved by them, be for any rail can be pulled up. That's kind of hard to do when you have two operating railroads on the line.
My understanding is that abandonment requires federal approval in addition to state approval. Typically, abandonment is requested by the company that owns the RR ROW. Since there was a taking, this situation is rather unique. Anyhow, the standard in New Hampshire is that the rail line needs to be unused for a minimum of 2 years.

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Old 12-06-2018, 06:15 PM   #25
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Yes, the state would be the one to file the petition but they can't until after all operating railroads file a discontinuance with the STB. Since both the Plymouth and Lincoln Railroad and New England Southern Railroad make their living using those tracks, it's unlikely they would ever do so. Just the Winnipesaukee Scenic railroad alone averages about a million a year in revenue for the parent company Plymouth and Lincoln. You think the Clark family who, owns the railroad is about to give that up? I think not.
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:29 PM   #26
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My understanding is that abandonment requires federal approval in addition to state approval. Typically, abandonment is requested by the company that owns the RR ROW. Since there was a taking, this situation is rather unique. Anyhow, the standard in New Hampshire is that the rail line needs to be unused for a minimum of 2 years.



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Old 12-06-2018, 06:33 PM   #27
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Hi Joey,

Sorry about the late entry into the discussion. I was in California with a client and just got back into town on the red eye this morning.

The frontage along Paugus was "taken" by the state in (I believe) 1973 when B&M railroad could not afford to make repairs to the tracks north of Meredith. A section of the track washed out and there was an active paper mill serviced by the railroad at that time. The taking by the state was explicitly to preserve the integrity of the rail system and specific to railroad use.

OK, right now there is a legislative action in draft in Concord that will become public in early January. The prevailing belief is that it is intended to create an abandonment of the railroad to re-purpose the rail bed for rails-to-trails vs. rails-with-trails. See the link below.

There are two active rail users of the proposed extension to the WOW trail. One is the Hobo railroad that provides the tourist excursions several times per day during the summer. The second is the New England Southern Railroad (see attached picture) which is an active freight line. The New England Southern Railroad has runs up to Lincoln predominantly in the spring and fall when the Hobo railroad is not operating. They carry large freight including rail cars for the MBTA in Boston.

SD and LB both have rights of access to the lake and I have never heard of any disclosure regarding the disposition of the taking as historically it has not had any bearing on the community. I certainly had no disclosure when I bought my property.

I think that shutting down two active businesses to construct a recreational trail is not rational from any perspective.

http://www.unionleader.com/news/poli...d8c442fc8.html
I absolutely agree shutting down two businesses for a trail is completely irrational.

Interesting information. I did not know the Clark Family owns the Hobo and Winnipesaukee Scenic Railways.


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Old 12-09-2018, 12:40 PM   #28
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Post Interesting letter to the editor

https://www.laconiadailysun.com/opin...b58f6d6f1.html

Incidentally, the economic study that the city of Laconia has commissioned with Alta is going to cost about $40k. The original Lipman proposal was $10k to be paid for by the WOW Committee. So now, tax payer dollars are funding a study to remove the tracks and shut down two businesses. Really!

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Old 12-09-2018, 01:47 PM   #29
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https://www.laconiadailysun.com/opin...b58f6d6f1.html

Incidentally, the economic study that the city of Laconia has commissioned with Alta is going to cost about $40k. The original Lipman proposal was $10k to be paid for by the WOW Committee. So now, tax payer dollars are funding a study to remove the tracks and shut down two businesses. Really!

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What are the two businesses in jeopardy of being shut down? Are they using State owned property to turn a profit?
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:49 PM   #30
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Why do all these towns/cities spend so much money on STUDIES?? We are studied to death! Isn't there enough talent employed (by town/cities) and maybe add some citizens willing to volunteer?
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:03 PM   #31
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Why do all these towns/cities spend so much money on STUDIES?? We are studied to death! Isn't there enough talent employed (by town/cities) and maybe add some citizens willing to volunteer?
I would dare say that a study by towns/cities (even with citizens weighing in) would be biased. Imagine the results if some of the people commenting on this thread were involved with the study!
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:07 PM   #32
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I would dare say that a study by towns/cities (even with citizens weighing in) would be biased. Imagine the results if some of the people commenting on this thread were involved with the study!
I thought of that as I was typing but do they always do what is recommended by these studies anyway? I think they do what they want regardless. I think often studies are only the result of what they are told by the people who hired them. Ever been involved in a study?
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Old 12-09-2018, 04:59 PM   #33
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Default rail trails and the crime bogey man

I appreciate that neighbors are concerned about crime. We all are worried about crime however saying they oppose the rail trail because it would be a thoroughfare for criminals to use is a bit of stretch. Do you close roadways because a burglar escapes by car?

I have been on dozens of rail trails around the country and they are avenues where people who appreciate exercise and the outdoors go to recreate safely. There is even a rail trail on the Kennebec River near Augusta Maine that shares a corridor with an active railroad and they co exist just fine. Literally hundreds of people a day use the trail (and probably pushes to a thousand or more in the summer). Businesses have been established along the trail to cater to trail users. Publicity by inns, restaurants and bars all cite their proximity to the trail.

Give the trail a chance. It will turn out to be a huge asset to the area.
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Old 12-09-2018, 05:19 PM   #34
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Post Hobo Railroad and NH Southern Railroad

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What are the two businesses in jeopardy of being shut down? Are they using State owned property to turn a profit?
They are the Hobo railroad which runs the tourist train along the route and NH Southern Railroad which runs freight in the spring and fall via that route.

The Hobo Railroad has a contract with the state for operation along the route and NH Southern Railroad is a common carrier with a federal license to operate.

The Hobo railroad would be completely shutdown and the NH Southern Railroad would lose the northern portion of their operating route.

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Old 12-09-2018, 05:28 PM   #35
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Post It is a legitimate concern.

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I appreciate that neighbors are concerned about crime. We all are worried about crime however saying they oppose the rail trail because it would be a thoroughfare for criminals to use is a bit of stretch. Do you close roadways because a burglar escapes by car?

I have been on dozens of rail trails around the country and they are avenues where people who appreciate exercise and the outdoors go to recreate safely. There is even a rail trail on the Kennebec River near Augusta Maine that shares a corridor with an active railroad and they co exist just fine. Literally hundreds of people a day use the trail (and probably pushes to a thousand or more in the summer). Businesses have been established along the trail to cater to trail users. Publicity by inns, restaurants and bars all cite their proximity to the trail.

Give the trail a chance. It will turn out to be a huge asset to the area.
Take a look at the crime heat map

https://www.trulia.com/real_estate/L...mpshire/crime/

Also there have been a significant number of crimes, homeless encampments etc...along the existing trail. It is a legitimate concern.

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Old 12-09-2018, 06:33 PM   #36
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I really don't mean this question to be as snarky as it sounds - I am sincere in my interest.

Does everyone opposed to the Wow trail live in Southdown or are there opponents to the project from outside that community?

I ask because I spent a good bit rereading all the old threads and it seems like everyone criticism of the Wow trail comes for someone who self identities as a southdown resident.
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Old 12-09-2018, 07:20 PM   #37
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Post Yes, there are others.

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I really don't mean this question to be as snarky as it sounds - I am sincere in my interest.

Does everyone opposed to the Wow trail live in Southdown or are there opponents to the project from outside that community?

I ask because I spent a good bit rereading all the old threads and it seems like everyone criticism of the Wow trail comes for someone who self identities as a southdown resident.
There are many others...residents of Paugus Park, Long Bay, snowmobiliers and several of the marinas. Note that it is the route that is problematic and not the concept of the trail. There have been proposals for alternative routes, but that has fallen on deaf ears. Given that they are proposing to remove the tracks, you can add railroad enthusiasts, NH DOT etc...to the list.
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:14 PM   #38
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Respectfully Jetskier, here is what I am struggling with - The residents of Paugus Bay Park, Southdown, Longbay and the owners of the marinas all own property that abuts a public right of way. But they don't want the public on that right of way. They want them somewhere else. Somewhere not next to them.

Its like buying a house next to a park and then arguing that the park should be closed so that you don't heave to deal with people next to your house. Am I missing something here?

I understand why the railroad owners have a strong argument that their businesses shouldn't be harmed.

I'm just learning about the WOW trail so I will fully admit I may be ignorant of some important facts. What am I missing here?

Also I'm just thinking about the snowmobilers. Is it that the snowmobilers use the rails in the winter as part of their trail network and don't want other uses of the trails? It doesn't seem fair to limit recreational use of a public right of way to a single type of use.
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Old 12-10-2018, 09:50 AM   #39
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Post Not a public right of way

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Respectfully Jetskier, here is what I am struggling with - The residents of Paugus Bay Park, Southdown, Longbay and the owners of the marinas all own property that abuts a public right of way. But they don't want the public on that right of way. They want them somewhere else. Somewhere not next to them.

Its like buying a house next to a park and then arguing that the park should be closed so that you don't heave to deal with people next to your house. Am I missing something here?

I understand why the railroad owners have a strong argument that their businesses shouldn't be harmed.

I'm just learning about the WOW trail so I will fully admit I may be ignorant of some important facts. What am I missing here?

Also I'm just thinking about the snowmobilers. Is it that the snowmobilers use the rails in the winter as part of their trail network and don't want other uses of the trails? It doesn't seem fair to limit recreational use of a public right of way to a single type of use.
Hi winnipiseogee,

The current Railroad ROW is not a public ROW, it is a state ROW established by a taking for the purpose of RR use. As I previously stated, this occurred when B&M was having financial issues and the state stepped in. The notion that this is an unrestricted public right of way is flat out wrong.

The current WOW trail (and federal) funding stipulates that the trail is for unmotorized use only. This is currently part of the state snowmobile trail system and the trail/snowmobile trail is a conflict in use the way things are set up.

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Old 12-10-2018, 10:03 AM   #40
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If the use is limited exclusively to railroad use how is it being used as a snowmobile trail?
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Old 12-10-2018, 10:37 AM   #41
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If the use is limited exclusively to railroad use how is it being used as a snowmobile trail?
The State of NH has given permission to the Belknap Snowmobile Assn to use and maintain the trails over the rails during the snowmobile season and added to the State Trail System many years ago. The rail does not run during snowmobile season. Note it is the WOW proponents and federal funding for the WOW trail state the WOW Trail isf or UNMOTORIZED use only which changes the complete landscape
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Old 12-10-2018, 10:43 AM   #42
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Respectfully Jetskier, here is what I am struggling with - The residents of Paugus Bay Park, Southdown, Longbay and the owners of the marinas all own property that abuts a public right of way. But they don't want the public on that right of way. They want them somewhere else. Somewhere not next to them.

Its like buying a house next to a park and then arguing that the park should be closed so that you don't heave to deal with people next to your house. Am I missing something here?

I understand why the railroad owners have a strong argument that their businesses shouldn't be harmed.

I'm just learning about the WOW trail so I will fully admit I may be ignorant of some important facts. What am I missing here?

Also I'm just thinking about the snowmobilers. Is it that the snowmobilers use the rails in the winter as part of their trail network and don't want other uses of the trails? It doesn't seem fair to limit recreational use of a public right of way to a single type of use.
It is not a public right of way. It is a railroad right of way that is owned by the state. This railroad corridor is not abandoned, the state can't just do as they please, this is the reason the state has already told the city of Laconia that rail takes priority.
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Old 12-10-2018, 11:18 AM   #43
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What are the two businesses in jeopardy of being shut down? Are they using State owned property to turn a profit?

There's technically 4 businesses. And yes they are turning a profit on the state owned line and the state gets 10% of those profits.

1 - Plymouth and Lincoln Railroad (Doing business as Hobo Railroad and the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad)
2 - The Lincoln shops - supplies maintenance for the Plymouth and Lincoln Railroad plus bids on outside contracts (like the MBTA for example), they refurbish cars and locomotives and is a year round operation. They just did work on a caboose for the MBTA and in fact, that caboose was just shipped out last week.
3. New England Southern Railroad - a common carrier railroad that has freight rights on the entire line from Concord to Lincoln.
4. Café Lafayette Dinner Train - if you know their history, cars have come and gone, and cutting off the railroad would hinder their ability to change and adapt as they see fit.
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Old 12-10-2018, 01:56 PM   #44
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Thanks Trail Goer - thats really interesting information. I had no idea that the railway line was still being used to anything near that extent.
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:03 AM   #45
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https://www.laconiadailysun.com/opin...d6CQpHBasPUT_8


I'm sure the Daily Sun would love to bury this letter to the editor.
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:28 AM   #46
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https://www.laconiadailysun.com/opin...d6CQpHBasPUT_8


I'm sure the Daily Sun would love to bury this letter to the editor.
Well written and very informative letter. As I have stated I do like the WOW trail but discontinuing and sacrificing the rail to extend the trail is a horrible idea.
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Old 12-14-2018, 02:15 PM   #47
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Why don’t they run the trail up Weirs Boulevard and while they’re at it bury the power lines. As it stands now there’s short lengths of sidewalks along the boulevard that go nowhere. Maybe people would walk to the many businesses along this route.
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Old 12-14-2018, 02:20 PM   #48
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Default WOW Trail

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Why don’t they run the trail up Weirs Boulevard and while they’re at it bury the power lines. As it stands now there’s short lengths of sidewalks along the boulevard that go nowhere. Maybe people would walk to the many businesses along this route.
My understanding is that they would not be eligible for Federal dollars under the Rail to Trail legislation, and would have to finance that portion without any Federal assistance. Others may know more about this.
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Old 12-14-2018, 02:53 PM   #49
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My understanding is that they would not be eligible for Federal dollars under the Rail to Trail legislation, and would have to finance that portion without any Federal assistance. Others may know more about this.
That is true the trail must be along the rail line for federal assistance. Our resident expert jetskier I'm sure can give the specifics of the Rail to Trail legislation
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Old 12-14-2018, 05:59 PM   #50
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Why don’t they run the trail up Weirs Boulevard and while they’re at it bury the power lines. As it stands now there’s short lengths of sidewalks along the boulevard that go nowhere. Maybe people would walk to the many businesses along this route.
The city has required many builders and developers along Weirs Boulevard to build sidewalks in front of their property as a condition of approval of the project and the issuance of a building permit.

In many cases that sidewalk stands alone and the adjacent property topography is such that there will never be a sidewalk that connects to it. But, you can't fight city hall (and expect to win)
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Old 12-14-2018, 07:17 PM   #51
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My understanding is that they would not be eligible for Federal dollars under the Rail to Trail legislation, and would have to finance that portion without any Federal assistance. Others may know more about this.
This is a misnomer. The federal funding program is set up to cover a wide variety of alternative transportation projects. It was covered under what was known as MAP-21 (see below for applicable catagories) and now known as FAST. We have proposed running the trail along the far side of Paugus Bay (Lakeport avenue) as one of the alternative route proposals. Several of the merchants have indicated that this would be welcome as they don't even have a contiguous sidewalk. In addition, this route would go past a significant number of businesses. The route along the railroad passes virtually no businesses.

Note that NH DOT is the administrative entity for applying for Federal transportation money and they have broad discretion in distribution of funds under FAST.

The Commissioner (I believe actually the assistant Commissioner) of NH DOT held a public meeting in Meredith on December 5th. From what I heard, there is very little Federal money available even for primary transportation initiatives at the moment.

Jetskier


https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/factsheets/tap.cfm
https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/fastact/fac...rnativesfs.cfm

Last edited by jetskier; 12-14-2018 at 07:23 PM. Reason: update
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Old 12-16-2018, 10:08 AM   #52
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There's technically 4 businesses. And yes they are turning a profit on the state owned line and the state gets 10% of those profits.

1 - Plymouth and Lincoln Railroad (Doing business as Hobo Railroad and the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad)
2 - The Lincoln shops - supplies maintenance for the Plymouth and Lincoln Railroad plus bids on outside contracts (like the MBTA for example), they refurbish cars and locomotives and is a year round operation. They just did work on a caboose for the MBTA and in fact, that caboose was just shipped out last week.
3. New England Southern Railroad - a common carrier railroad that has freight rights on the entire line from Concord to Lincoln.
4. Café Lafayette Dinner Train - if you know their history, cars have come and gone, and cutting off the railroad would hinder their ability to change and adapt as they see fit.


While this may be technically correct, I don't think it reflects reality. I live on the railroad and it is only used by the Hobo Railroad. While the Hobo may be profitable, they are using state owned and maintained assets. Other than the yearly mini railroad car parade and the hundreds of people walking along the railroad, Hobo is the only user. I can't imagine the state will ever recover the costs of rebuilding the RR after the flash flood a few years ago that washed out the Weirs and many other places from Laconia to Lincoln.

A freight company may have the rights but as I said, I live on the railroad and it is very poorly maintained. This current railroad would fall apart with freight. I can pull out a hundred spikes with my own hands in the RR in front of my house.

Personally, I'd enjoy the wow trail. I'd ride my bike to the Weirs and to downtown Meredith. However, I don't think it can be built with the rails still in existing.
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Old 12-16-2018, 11:06 AM   #53
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I heard the hobo rail road is state subsized, and that is why you see it running even with no customers all the time. It pays dot a percentage of ticket sales but the state pays the hobo ensuring a profit.

I love the idea of a trolley you could flag down and ride to any where on the track. If the wow trail is built, it should allow snowmobiles (and utvs, atvs, etc) in the winter. And low speed carts in the summer.

I also think Laconia is researching the tracks overall inpact on the city. The city has more lake frontage than any town. Yet a large percentage is impacted by the tracks (and roads) , reducing the value of the propertys. It's not just about the wow trail.
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Old 12-16-2018, 12:30 PM   #54
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Post Not correct

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While this may be technically correct, I don't think it reflects reality. I live on the railroad and it is only used by the Hobo Railroad. While the Hobo may be profitable, they are using state owned and maintained assets. Other than the yearly mini railroad car parade and the hundreds of people walking along the railroad, Hobo is the only user. I can't imagine the state will ever recover the costs of rebuilding the RR after the flash flood a few years ago that washed out the Weirs and many other places from Laconia to Lincoln.

A freight company may have the rights but as I said, I live on the railroad and it is very poorly maintained. This current railroad would fall apart with freight. I can pull out a hundred spikes with my own hands in the RR in front of my house.

Personally, I'd enjoy the wow trail. I'd ride my bike to the Weirs and to downtown Meredith. However, I don't think it can be built with the rails still in existing.
The New England Southern Railroad ran a load over the tracks a few weeks back. I posted a picture (another one attached) and there was a picture in the Laconia Daily Sun. First, the Hobo/Winnipesaukee Scenic railroad pay the state for use of the rail road ROW. The state is responsible for maintaining the railway. The numbers that I heard is that the revenue for the Hobo/Winnipesaukee Railroad was about $1M and they paid the state $100k.

The New England Southern Railroad is a federally licensed common carrier with rights to use the railroad.

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Old 12-16-2018, 12:36 PM   #55
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Post $40k for an economic study when there are more pressing needs.

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I heard the hobo rail road is state subsized, and that is why you see it running even with no customers all the time. It pays dot a percentage of ticket sales but the state pays the hobo ensuring a profit.

I love the idea of a trolley you could flag down and ride to any where on the track. If the wow trail is built, it should allow snowmobiles (and utvs, atvs, etc) in the winter. And low speed carts in the summer.

I also think Laconia is researching the tracks overall inpact on the city. The city has more lake frontage than any town. Yet a large percentage is impacted by the tracks (and roads) , reducing the value of the propertys. It's not just about the wow trail.
The city is paying $40k for an economic study essentially to try to rationalize removing the tracks. It is interesting that the city has money for this and not other initiatives (such as Milfoil eradication)....but that is a topic for another time.

The WOW trail has been funded with Federal money for alternative transportation...a prerequisite is that all motorized vehicles are banned. Right now the railway along Paugus is part of the state wide snowmobile trail system. If the WOW trail is built, then snowmobiles etc...will not be permitted.

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Old 12-16-2018, 01:42 PM   #56
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The city is paying $40k for an economic study essentially to try to rationalize removing the tracks. It is interesting that the city has money for this and not other initiatives (such as Milfoil eradication)....but that is a topic for another time.

The WOW trail has been funded with Federal money for alternative transportation...a prerequisite is that all motorized vehicles are banned. Right now the railway along Paugus is part of the state wide snowmobile trail system. If the WOW trail is built, then snowmobiles etc...will not be permitted.

Jetskier
Hi JetSkier,

My opinion of the trail goes back and forth. I do find all arguement people use for and against paper thin. Basic political fear mongering. For instance the crime argument is a joke. Does anyone really think criminals care if they have to walk on tracks or a trail to break into someones house. (I would actually think they would prefer no trail, so less eyes on there activity). The homeless people living on the tracks always did, now people just see it because now they use the trail.

I understand that the federal money requires that. I am saying that I disagree with that requirement and I think the money could be raised else where so that, snowmobiles, golf carts, etc can use the trail. As state property other things like UTVs should be allow to use it not just snowmobiles (whole other conversation). The federal requirement has a purpose I don't think it works well in our area. A big part of the enjoyment of the lakes region is all the toys people use and the trail system should lean on that not push it away.

I had not hear that 1 million dollar # but WOW. 1st that means for roughly 15 weeks, 7 days a week, they sell close to 500 adult tickets per day. No way!! haha, I see it empty 80% of the time and at most 30 people on it. So I am missing something that they are selling to generate that revenue. 2nd, That train has got to cost way more than 1 million to operate per year. 3rd if that is correct, 100k to the state is not enough to maintain those tracks, not even close. So it is being subsidized one way or another. So we should all stop saying it is profitable and that the state makes money on it. What we should say is that it is a nice novelty, and probably draws money in other ways, and employs a lot of people and that is all good.

This also goes to my point the city is researching the economic impact the tracks have beyond just the trail. But does it actually draw people, I 100% guarantee you that with no track the city pulls in way more than 100k in additional tax revenue.

Like I said my opinion changes like the wind on this subject, but at the monent after seeing those numbers, I gotta say I am pro trail.
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Old 12-16-2018, 06:34 PM   #57
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The crime issue goes like this:

It's 10 pm and two young men are walking on the tracks.

"Hey, what are doing here? You cannot be on the tracks or adjacent private property. I'm calling the cops!"

OR...

It's 10 pm and two young men are walking on the WOW trail.

"Hey, what are doing here?"

"We are taking a walk on the WOW trail."

Bad intentions? Maybe.

Can we deter folks from walking through our back yards?

With the WOW trail, the answer is no.
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Old 12-16-2018, 07:10 PM   #58
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There is an obvious solution to the issues in this area.

The State should take all the SD/LB property by eminent domain. Build the new WOW trail on the lower portion of the land. Pave the rest of the property to make a nice parking lot for the casino that is being built on the State School property. To take it one step further, they can use a shuttle (make it look like a trolley if you want) that can transport people to downtown Laconia so they can raze the parking garage that is falling down.

Three problems solved with one solution AND a new shuttle business is created.
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Old 12-16-2018, 09:08 PM   #59
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Post Not true.

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Originally Posted by birchhaven View Post
Hi JetSkier,

My opinion of the trail goes back and forth. I do find all arguement people use for and against paper thin. Basic political fear mongering. For instance the crime argument is a joke. Does anyone really think criminals care if they have to walk on tracks or a trail to break into someones house. (I would actually think they would prefer no trail, so less eyes on there activity). The homeless people living on the tracks always did, now people just see it because now they use the trail.

I understand that the federal money requires that. I am saying that I disagree with that requirement and I think the money could be raised else where so that, snowmobiles, golf carts, etc can use the trail. As state property other things like UTVs should be allow to use it not just snowmobiles (whole other conversation). The federal requirement has a purpose I don't think it works well in our area. A big part of the enjoyment of the lakes region is all the toys people use and the trail system should lean on that not push it away.

I had not hear that 1 million dollar # but WOW. 1st that means for roughly 15 weeks, 7 days a week, they sell close to 500 adult tickets per day. No way!! haha, I see it empty 80% of the time and at most 30 people on it. So I am missing something that they are selling to generate that revenue. 2nd, That train has got to cost way more than 1 million to operate per year. 3rd if that is correct, 100k to the state is not enough to maintain those tracks, not even close. So it is being subsidized one way or another. So we should all stop saying it is profitable and that the state makes money on it. What we should say is that it is a nice novelty, and probably draws money in other ways, and employs a lot of people and that is all good.

This also goes to my point the city is researching the economic impact the tracks have beyond just the trail. But does it actually draw people, I 100% guarantee you that with no track the city pulls in way more than 100k in additional tax revenue.

Like I said my opinion changes like the wind on this subject, but at the monent after seeing those numbers, I gotta say I am pro trail.
Hi birchhaven,

First, the crime argument is no joke. I am attaching a link to a 91-A disclosure of the police activity (does not include the fire department activity) from 2016 to November of 2018. There are issues with homeless encampments, drugs, transients accosting pedestrians. This is no joke!

You can't take federal alternative transportation money and allow motorized trail use...period! The existing phase 1 and phase 2 segments of the trail are 50% subsidized by federal money.

The railroad(s) - Winnipesaukee Scenic, Hobo, New England Southern and Lafayette Dinner train are all active and create revenue, jobs and secondary benefits. The repair depot in Lincoln also relies on the railway. So, there is substantial impact to removing the tracks. Personally, I have never heard anyone say that they are coming up to the lake for the reason of using the WOW trail.

Jetskier

https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/580...kc5_916831.pdf

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Old 12-16-2018, 09:49 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by 8gv View Post
The crime issue goes like this:

It's 10 pm and two young men are walking on the tracks.

"Hey, what are doing here? You cannot be on the tracks or adjacent private property. I'm calling the cops!"

OR...

It's 10 pm and two young men are walking on the WOW trail.

"Hey, what are doing here?"

"We are taking a walk on the WOW trail."

Bad intentions? Maybe.

Can we deter folks from walking through our back yards?

With the WOW trail, the answer is no.
I didn't know that you could prevent people from walking on that tracks that are adjacent to your property. Interesting!

Would the same law that would keep people from walking on the tracks near your property enable homeowners in other areas to prevent people from walking down the public street that is adjacent to their house?
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Old 12-16-2018, 10:06 PM   #61
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There is an obvious solution to the issues in this area.

The State should take all the SD/LB property by eminent domain. Build the new WOW trail on the lower portion of the land. Pave the rest of the property to make a nice parking lot for the casino that is being built on the State School property. To take it one step further, they can use a shuttle (make it look like a trolley if you want) that can transport people to downtown Laconia so they can raze the parking garage that is falling down.

Three problems solved with one solution AND a new shuttle business is created.
At the risk of reading like an FLL post, You forgot to add in a mega marijuana dispensary, The whole thing will end up in a ball of flames without one.

Possible Future tax rate for Laconia $00.03 per thousand
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Old 12-16-2018, 10:31 PM   #62
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I didn't know that you could prevent people from walking on that tracks that are adjacent to your property. Interesting!

Would the same law that would keep people from walking on the tracks near your property enable homeowners in other areas to prevent people from walking down the public street that is adjacent to their house?
My understanding is that unauthorized track walking is trespassing.

There are places where crossing the tracks is permitted by prior arrangement.

I reserve the right to be corrected though.
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Old 12-17-2018, 06:46 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by 8gv View Post
The crime issue goes like this:

It's 10 pm and two young men are walking on the tracks.

"Hey, what are doing here? You cannot be on the tracks or adjacent private property. I'm calling the cops!"

OR...

It's 10 pm and two young men are walking on the WOW trail.

"Hey, what are doing here?"

"We are taking a walk on the WOW trail."

Bad intentions? Maybe.

Can we deter folks from walking through our back yards?

With the WOW trail, the answer is no.
Completely disagree. Trail or rail makes no difference they will walk along no matter what is there. If you call the police at 10pm to say someone is walking along the rail line they may respond but isn’t certainly not a priority. I’m speaking as someone who was broken into from people walking in from the rail line.


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Old 12-17-2018, 09:53 AM   #64
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I heard the hobo rail road is state subsized, and that is why you see it running even with no customers all the time. It pays dot a percentage of ticket sales but the state pays the hobo ensuring a profit.
The state does not subsidize any railroad, it doesn't even subsidize the Downeaster which is a government subsidized operation. The Plymouth and Lincoln Railroad is a for profit railroad, if they don't make money, they wouldn't be in business. All the railroads that operate on state owned tracks, operate in accordance to the lease agreement with the state. If the lease agreement states the state is responsible for x amount of dollars for track maintenance, then that is what the state agreed too.
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Old 12-17-2018, 10:33 AM   #65
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Completely disagree. Trail or rail makes no difference they will walk along no matter what is there. If you call the police at 10pm to say someone is walking along the rail line they may respond but isn’t certainly not a priority. I’m speaking as someone who was broken into from people walking in from the rail line.


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Sorry to hear of the break in.

My point is that currently the late evening rail walkers have no legitimate reason for being there. Maybe the police come, maybe they don't.

The trail would give more access and a level of legitimacy that might not warrant a visit from the police.
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Old 12-17-2018, 10:46 AM   #66
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Sorry to hear of the break in.

My point is that currently the late evening rail walkers have no legitimate reason for being there. Maybe the police come, maybe they don't.

The trail would give more access and a level of legitimacy that might not warrant a visit from the police.
Understood. Just don't think its a major reason to turn down the trail. Although I am in favor of the trail, I do have quite a few requirements for the project to move forward in my eyes as I have stated in above posts.
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Old 12-17-2018, 12:08 PM   #67
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I had not hear that 1 million dollar # but WOW. 1st that means for roughly 15 weeks, 7 days a week, they sell close to 500 adult tickets per day. No way!! haha, I see it empty 80% of the time and at most 30 people on it. So I am missing something that they are selling to generate that revenue. 2nd, That train has got to cost way more than 1 million to operate per year. 3rd if that is correct, 100k to the state is not enough to maintain those tracks, not even close. So it is being subsidized one way or another. So we should all stop saying it is profitable and that the state makes money on it. What we should say is that it is a nice novelty, and probably draws money in other ways, and employs a lot of people and that is all good.

$100K to the state, the numbers don't lie and I don't think the are offering to pay more than the 10% they are required. I have no idea what their overhead cost are but if it were a million a year then they would be out business or in that case they would be making far more than 1 million a year which you claim is impossible, since the trains according to your assertion are empty. Do you work in the railroad industry, do you know how much it cost to maintain railroad tracks to FRA Class 1 standards?
You're mud slinging unfounded info at a wall and hoping it sticks, you don't like the train that's fine, that's your opinion but if your going to argue your point, use facts don't just make stuff up.
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Old 12-17-2018, 12:31 PM   #68
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Understood. Just don't think its a major reason to turn down the trail. Although I am in favor of the trail, I do have quite a few requirements for the project to move forward in my eyes as I have stated in above posts.
If a trail gets built and has a lot of legit users then it may deter thieves because of more people around. Also most of the rail trails that I've used are patrolled by police where as the railroad trail is not unless someone calls and reports suspicious activity.
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Old 12-17-2018, 01:07 PM   #69
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While this may be technically correct, I don't think it reflects reality. I live on the railroad and it is only used by the Hobo Railroad. While the Hobo may be profitable, they are using state owned and maintained assets. Other than the yearly mini railroad car parade and the hundreds of people walking along the railroad, Hobo is the only user. I can't imagine the state will ever recover the costs of rebuilding the RR after the flash flood a few years ago that washed out the Weirs and many other places from Laconia to Lincoln.

A freight company may have the rights but as I said, I live on the railroad and it is very poorly maintained. This current railroad would fall apart with freight. I can pull out a hundred spikes with my own hands in the RR in front of my house.

Personally, I'd enjoy the wow trail. I'd ride my bike to the Weirs and to downtown Meredith. However, I don't think it can be built with the rails still in existing.
1. Do you know how much it cost to repair the washout? I don't but I sure would like to see the $ amount it cost the state. Was any of that money covered in federal disaster relief funds? How much did the railroad chip in? Also its been mention time and time again, there's more than just the Hobo that operates the line.

2. Said freight company New England Southern Railroad, is a common carrier railroad and guess what, so is the very tracks they operate on up to Lincoln, NH. The state may own the railroad corridor but its governed by the Surface Transportation Board (STB). They are the ones that approve and disapprove freight rights. By law the state has to award a common carrier railroad the rights to the line because it is not an abandoned corridor.

3. Are you a certified FRA track inspector? Lets leave those assumptions to certified track inspectors please. FYI the track on this line is rated as class 1. see attachment for more details. http://www.jgmes.com/webstart/librar..._fra_track.htm

4. Why don't you think the two can't co-exist like it does now south of Lakeport?
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Old 12-17-2018, 03:45 PM   #70
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1. Do you know how much it cost to repair the washout? I don't but I sure would like to see the $ amount it cost the state. Was any of that money covered in federal disaster relief funds? How much did the railroad chip in? Also its been mention time and time again, there's more than just the Hobo that operates the line.

2. Said freight company New England Southern Railroad, is a common carrier railroad and guess what, so is the very tracks they operate on up to Lincoln, NH. The state may own the railroad corridor but its governed by the Surface Transportation Board (STB). They are the ones that approve and disapprove freight rights. By law the state has to award a common carrier railroad the rights to the line because it is not an abandoned corridor.

3. Are you a certified FRA track inspector? Lets leave those assumptions to certified track inspectors please. FYI the track on this line is rated as class 1. see attachment for more details. http://www.jgmes.com/webstart/librar..._fra_track.htm

4. Why don't you think the two can't co-exist like it does now south of Lakeport?
1. I don't know. but I saw them work for weeks on places that didn't make the news. I saw the tracks floating 30 feet in the air in Ashland where all of the ground was washed away. I saw the culverts replaced in Meredith Bay. I wish I knew how much it cost.

2. I've never seen freight (and I have years of footage on my webcam) on this line. They may have to give someone the rights but we all know it has never been used in modern times.

3. No....just an Engineer but smart enough to know that many spikes are 75% out of the wood and would not take a heavy load. They replaced many ties in front of my house this year. They left the area a mess. Not sure why DES doesn't hold the railroad accountable for keeping our waterfront clean.

4. Look on google maps. There are many pinch points. Unless the trail reroutes through private land and only public roads, there is no path along the RR for both the train and people. It would be alot easier and provide much easier access if they just ripped out the rails like has been done in so many southern NH areas (Londonderry and Windham) and Northern areas (Colebrook and Pittsburg)
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Old 12-17-2018, 04:52 PM   #71
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2. New England Southern has sole discretion of those rights under lease agreement with the state, if they feel its time to cut the cord, they are the ones that would have to file a discontinuance with the STB to give up those rights, the state can't do it for them. Given their current stance on this issue, I don't expect they will be filing anything with the STB any time soon.
4. Your reference to the other rail lines with rail trails, were constructed on abandoned lines. This rail corridor is not abandoned.
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Old 12-17-2018, 05:51 PM   #72
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2. New England Southern has sole discretion of those rights under lease agreement with the state, if they feel its time to cut the cord, they are the ones that would have to file a discontinuance with the STB to give up those rights, the state can't do it for them. Given their current stance on this issue, I don't expect they will be filing anything with the STB any time soon.
4. Your reference to the other rail lines with rail trails, were constructed on abandoned lines. This rail corridor is not abandoned.
Hi Trail Goer,

Thank you for your factual comments. I have personally talked to the owner of the New England Southern Railroad multiple times. I can tell you emphatically that he has no intent to discontinue freight service along his northern corridor (Concord to Lincoln).

You are correct that it is typically the rail carrier that owns the right of way that files for discontinuance. In this case, the taking was by the state and both the Hobo Railroad and New England Southern Railroad have licenses with the state. New England Southern is licensed with STB as a common carrier...so they also have a federal license to operate. The historical rule has been that a rail line is not formally abandoned unless it has been unused for at least 2 years.

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Old 12-17-2018, 06:53 PM   #73
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2. New England Southern has sole discretion of those rights under lease agreement with the state, if they feel its time to cut the cord, they are the ones that would have to file a discontinuance with the STB to give up those rights, the state can't do it for them. Given their current stance on this issue, I don't expect they will be filing anything with the STB any time soon.
4. Your reference to the other rail lines with rail trails, were constructed on abandoned lines. This rail corridor is not abandoned.
Good points...Thanks.
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Old 12-17-2018, 08:51 PM   #74
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https://www.laconiadailysun.com/opin...21b177816.html
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Old 12-18-2018, 10:37 AM   #75
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IMHO.... I think its pretty idiotic of the city to spend $40K and "commission a study" to see if its worthwhile to to put a viable, contributing business... out of business. That is just moronic. Perhaps we should commission a study that would lengthen the Laconia Airport Runways and put Patrick's out of business?

I do like the premise of the WOW trail... and they did a nice job on the other sections of the trail. However, they need to co-exist with the railroad just like in the other trail sections. If it costs more $$$ to build, so what? Deal with it.

I get the Southdown (and other Property owners) objections, but its a State owned ROW... that already becomes a public thoroughfare from Dec 15th thru spring. I think they both need to come to the table, and make a deal both side can live with. A pretty post & beam fence like the other sections would not look bad. Rerouting the trail off of state owned property is silly, especially if its done just because some wealthy private community decides to go NIMBY...

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Old 12-18-2018, 10:45 AM   #76
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I just do not understand why it must be one or the other. They can easily coexist with certain requirements being set if everyone gets on the same page but that unfortunately is unlikely.
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Old 12-18-2018, 01:21 PM   #77
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IMHO.... I think its pretty idiotic of the city to spend $40K and "commission a study" to see if its worthwhile to to put a viable, contributing business... out of business. That is just moronic. Perhaps we should commission a study that would lengthen the Laconia Airport Runways and put Patrick's out of business?

I do like the premise of the WOW trail... and they did a nice job on the other sections of the trail. However, they need to co-exist with the railroad just like in the other trail sections. If it costs more $$$ to build, so what? Deal with it.

I get the Southdown (and other Property owners) objections, but its a State owned ROW... that already becomes a public thoroughfare from Dec 15th thru spring. I think they both need to come to the table, and make a deal both side can live with. A pretty post & beam fence like the other sections would not look bad. Rerouting the trail off of state owned property is silly, especially if its done just because some wealthy private community decides to go NIMBY...

Woodsy
It looks even worse considering the study was supposed to be paid for by donations that the WOW trail was supposed to raise. I guess the voters in the city had no say in whether or not the city should spend that kind of tax payer money. Had this spending gone before the voters, I bet it would've been defeated.
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Old 12-18-2018, 01:35 PM   #78
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It looks even worse considering the study was supposed to be paid for by donations that the WOW trail was supposed to raise. I guess the voters in the city had no say in whether or not the city should spend that kind of tax payer money. Had this spending gone before the voters, I bet it would've been defeated.
I'm sure the city does not need voter approval for a 40k expenditure probably taken out of the general fund
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Old 12-18-2018, 01:51 PM   #79
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IMHO.... I think its pretty idiotic of the city to spend $40K and "commission a study" to see if its worthwhile to to put a viable, contributing business... out of business. That is just moronic. Perhaps we should commission a study that would lengthen the Laconia Airport Runways and put Patrick's out of business?
I love the idea of extending the runway to put Patrick's out of business! Just so long as the liquor store is unaffected!
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Old 12-18-2018, 02:10 PM   #80
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I'm sure the city does not need voter approval for a 40k expenditure probably taken out of the general fund
Spending money on land they don't own and have no control over. It must give those that give a damn, a nice warm fuzzy feeling knowing the city just wasted 40k at the drop of a hat.
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Old 12-18-2018, 02:32 PM   #81
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Spending money on land they don't own and have no control over. It must give those that give a damn, a nice warm fuzzy feeling knowing the city just wasted 40k at the drop of a hat.
I agree. No matter what side of the "fence" you are on the WOW Trail Organizers should have paid the bill
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Old 12-18-2018, 03:09 PM   #82
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Default Originally was $10k to be paid by WOW Org.

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I agree. No matter what side of the "fence" you are on the WOW Trail Organizers should have paid the bill
Note that this was originally going to be $10k paid by the WOW Organization...when it was approved by the Laconia Council it turned into a city expenditure not to exceed $50k. This is at the same time that the city is cutting back on other expenditures such as Milfoil control.

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Old 12-18-2018, 04:17 PM   #83
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Note that this was originally going to be $10k paid by the WOW Organization...when it was approved by the Laconia Council it turned into a city expenditure not to exceed $50k. This is at the same time that the city is cutting back on other expenditures such as Milfoil control.

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WOW (pun intended) fiscal irresponsibility at its best!!!!!
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Old 12-18-2018, 04:36 PM   #84
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This also goes to my point the city is researching the economic impact the tracks have beyond just the trail. But does it actually draw people, I 100% guarantee you that with no track the city pulls in way more than 100k in additional tax revenue.

I missed this one
Forget the city, what does the state gain by allowing the trail in place of rail? you honestly think the state would still receive the same investment in return? My understanding of the lease agreement, is that the 10% of the railroad's revenue, is on top of a regular flat rate fee the railroad already pays. The state stands to lose a lot of money if the rail disappeared. You know as well as I do, the trail will never recover any money for the state. Does the state even get any money for the trail that exist now?
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:17 PM   #85
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I just stumbled across this nice study and its report that was done by Alta back in 2003 from what I can gather. As we all know Alta, is the same company that has been hired again to study the same section of the railroad. $40,000 to try and convince law makers, that the trail would be a better utilization of an active railroad corridor that is still under STB control, when they in fact have a study right in front of them that shows the two can co-exist with some detours the trail will need to take. I'm at a loss of words right now.
https://www.railstotrails.org/resour...ty%20Study.pdf
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:56 PM   #86
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I just stumbled across this nice study and its report that was done by Alta back in 2003 from what I can gather. As we all know Alta, is the same company that has been hired again to study the same section of the railroad. $40,000 to try and convince law makers, that the trail would be a better utilization of an active railroad corridor that is still under STB control, when they in fact have a study right in front of them that shows the two can co-exist with some detours the trail will need to take. I'm at a loss of words right now.
https://www.railstotrails.org/resour...ty%20Study.pdf

Our tax dollars hard at work. NOT.
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:15 AM   #87
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Lightbulb Rail-Biking Abandoned Rails...

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Hi Trail Goer,

Thank you for your factual comments. I have personally talked to the owner of the New England Southern Railroad multiple times. I can tell you emphatically that he has no intent to discontinue freight service along his northern corridor (Concord to Lincoln).

You are correct that it is typically the rail carrier that owns the right of way that files for discontinuance. In this case, the taking was by the state and both the Hobo Railroad and New England Southern Railroad have licenses with the state. New England Southern is licensed with STB as a common carrier...so they also have a federal license to operate. The historical rule has been that a rail line is not formally abandoned unless it has been unused for at least 2 years.

Jetskier
Nonetheless, rails can be extended to other recreation, like "rail-biking", developed in 1909:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viSJ...Q&index=2&t=0s
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:42 AM   #88
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Post Not abandoned

This point is that this rail line is not abandoned. Note that abandonment is a formal process that relinquishes railroad use of the rail line.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:34 PM   #89
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I just stumbled across this nice study and its report that was done by Alta back in 2003 from what I can gather. As we all know Alta, is the same company that has been hired again to study the same section of the railroad. $40,000 to try and convince law makers, that the trail would be a better utilization of an active railroad corridor that is still under STB control, when they in fact have a study right in front of them that shows the two can co-exist with some detours the trail will need to take. I'm at a loss of words right now.
https://www.railstotrails.org/resour...ty%20Study.pdf
Do the people on the City Board know about the previous study?

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Old 03-12-2019, 12:38 PM   #90
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In my career the folks trying to influence us had a practice we called “Vote till you get it right”.

Maybe this is “Study till you get it right”?
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Old 03-12-2019, 01:54 PM   #91
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In my career the folks trying to influence us had a practice we called “Vote till you get it right”.

Maybe this is “Study till you get it right”?
Or maybe just "Have them vote till you get it passed!!!" They keep trying! I can't think of a town that didn't keep trying until the voters passed it and they got what they wanted.
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:08 PM   #92
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Correct, they will keep trying till they get the outcome they desire but it will all come at the tax payers’ expense because last I checked the WOW trail couldn't even come up with the money on their own, like they were supposed to (yet somehow the trail will be an economic boom). It will take the tax payers to say enough, is enough but that's unlikely to happen considering the majority probably aren't aware nor care (what was the voter turnout yesterday for Laconia?). Supposedly some towns had under 20% of the registered voter turnout, so that should give you an idea of how many people don't pay attention to what's going on nor care to. It's clear this study is going to be a number crunching study vs physical infrastructure/layout study like the first one. They’re going to try and come up with facts and figures that support the trail vs rail. It's the same old scheme that is played out all over, whether it's here, New York or California. My biggest gripe is with those facts and figures; how can they come up with facts and figures? there's no user fees and they have no way to tell how many people use the trail and be able to break it down to visitors and locals. A simple survey sent out to residents and area businesses just doesn't cut it for me, yet we have a railroad that can tell you exactly how much they get for ridership every year and you know those riders are going to spend money outside of the railroad for food and what not because the majority that ride the train are not from around here.
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:22 PM   #93
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We know that rail trails work around the country... if they weren't working at all people would not be building them. There will be some economic benefit, how much is up for debate. That being said...

The WOW trail needs to coexist with the existing railroad, just like does from Lakeport to Belmont.

The real issue here is the NIMBY folks in Southdown...


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Old 03-13-2019, 02:22 PM   #94
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Rail trails are built through the efforts of committed supporters and government money.

That does not mean there is an ROI that exceeds that which would be derived by alternative projects.
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Old 03-13-2019, 02:33 PM   #95
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We know that rail trails work around the country... if they weren't working at all people would not be building them. There will be some economic benefit, how much is up for debate. That being said...

The WOW trail needs to coexist with the existing railroad, just like does from Lakeport to Belmont.

The real issue here is the NIMBY folks in Southdown...


Woodsy
Of course they work the purpose of rail trails were to make use of abandoned ones, but today trail advocates are going after active lines.
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:25 PM   #96
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Of course they work the purpose of rail trails were to make use of abandoned ones, but today trail advocates are going after active lines.
Like I said... they need to co-exist.

This "new" study is purely political... it is driven by Alan Beetle (of Patrick's fame) and good ole Rusty McLear (of Common Man fame). Both have considerable political clout.

The railroad makes Rusty no $$$... but the rail trail might make him a few!


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Old 03-14-2019, 09:17 AM   #97
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Like I said... they need to co-exist.

Woodsy
I am not trying to pick a fight with you, more of a clarification, but when you say co-exist what do you mean, in the same place like side by side or just co-exist meaning two entities operating?

I would tend to lean to the side of you are saying co-exist as in side by side, why would the railroad need to do this or why would anyone have to allow them to do this?

again not a fight just clarification
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Old 03-14-2019, 03:23 PM   #98
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Co-exist... side by side. The problem with phase 3 is that there's not enough room for both trail and rail, like there was in phases 1 and 2. The trail can co-exist in phase 3 but in the areas where there's only room for one the trail has to make detours and construct sidewalks along streets to get around the "bottleneck areas" and there's at least 2 if not 3 sections - the causeway over Pickerel Cove, the Rte. 3 overpass (which is often referred to as the tunnel) and possibly the causeway over Chattle Cove. The trail supporters, don't want to do this for a number of reasons: money and construction cost are probably the biggest reason, others don't want the trail to venture away from the lake (more appealing to the eye vs sidewalks along streets going by buildings/houses) and last but not least, some just don't want to see the big noisy train anymore. Then you have the issue with Southdown where they don't want the trail to be built period and want the track and train to stay.
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Old 03-14-2019, 03:34 PM   #99
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Co-exist... side by side. The problem with phase 3 is that there's not enough room for both trail and rail, like there was in phases 1 and 2. The trail can co-exist in phase 3 but in the areas where there's only room for one the trail has to make detours and construct sidewalks along streets to get around the "bottleneck areas" and there's at least 2 if not 3 sections - the causeway over Pickerel Cove, the Rte. 3 overpass (which is often referred to as the tunnel) and possibly the causeway over Chattle Cove. The trail supporters, don't want to do this for a number of reasons: money and construction cost are probably the biggest reason, others don't want the trail to venture away from the lake (more appealing to the eye vs sidewalks along streets going by buildings/houses) and last but not least, some just don't want to see the big noisy train anymore. Then you have the issue with Southdown where they don't want the trail to be built period and want the track and train to stay.
All great points. I would love for them to exist together. If you can get SD and LB to sit down and come up with an acceptable esthetically pleasing fence instead of an ugly chain link maybe it would work. I don’t and never will by the crime argument and if done correctly will increase the value of property is SD/LB. I am speaking as a 10+ year owner in both communities.


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Old 03-14-2019, 07:51 PM   #100
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Post Going after the railroad

The real issue is that there is a significant cost difference between building a trail adjacent to the existing rail line vs. replacing the existing rail line. The fencing alone will be somewhere between $.5M to $5M depending. In addition, there are retaining walls, drainage, bridges etc... Plus there are pinch points requiring passage across private property. There is grading, filling, paving etc... $$$$$$$$$$$$

So, the game afoot right now is to try to replace the railroad with the WOW trail. That is what the study is all about. The city is going to try to justify this by showing that the trail will provide a greater economic gain than the railroad. That is the intent of the $40k study. However, there are still 4 active railroads on this rail line and businesses that rely on rail service. It is difficult to see how extending the trail will create a significant economic benefit especially if the trail replaces the rail line as there is virtually nothing commercial along this route.

In addition, the city has just approved a plan to build a sport center on rt 106 and the alternate route for the WOW trail that has been proposed multiple times would have the advantage of being able to connect directly with that facility. The owner of a restaurant along the proposed alternate route has offered land for parking and a welcome center. Seems like a better way to go vs. trying to replace the rail line.

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