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Old 11-24-2019, 09:01 AM   #201
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Read the last few posts and it piqued my interest. I’m not going back to read all 200 posts so I apologize in advance if my post is duplicative.

The issue for rail trail conversions is really, who owned the right of way and are the rails still “active”.

First, it is very difficult under federal law to “take” an active rail right of way. This has been trace to laws written in the 1800’s when rail was king. Seems to me that that if they are running trains along Paugus Bay they are still active.

Second, there is the ownership issue. Most older rail right of ways were created by a federal law from 1875 that granted rail companies an easement over a parcel of property. A 2014 US Supreme Court ruling said that this easement was removed when the track was abandoned and “ownership” reverted to the property owner. This ruling is being used by abutter groups (including one in my town) to contest the right of the state to transfer (or lease) a right of way that they acquired from a RR company to municipalities for rail trails. Not being a lawyer, I’m guessing that the theory is that at the moment the rails are abandoned (removed) the easement is voided and the RR company or state loses any right to transfer or lease. Don’t know if any of these cases have reached final decision. It will be interesting to follow.


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Old 11-24-2019, 09:40 AM   #202
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Originally Posted by The Real BigGuy View Post
Read the last few posts and it piqued my interest. I’m not going back to read all 200 posts so I apologize in advance if my post is duplicative.

The issue for rail trail conversions is really, who owned the right of way and are the rails still “active”.

First, it is very difficult under federal law to “take” an active rail right of way. This has been trace to laws written in the 1800’s when rail was king. Seems to me that that if they are running trains along Paugus Bay they are still active.

Second, there is the ownership issue. Most older rail right of ways were created by a federal law from 1875 that granted rail companies an easement over a parcel of property. A 2014 US Supreme Court ruling said that this easement was removed when the track was abandoned and “ownership” reverted to the property owner. This ruling is being used by abutter groups (including one in my town) to contest the right of the state to transfer (or lease) a right of way that they acquired from a RR company to municipalities for rail trails. Not being a lawyer, I’m guessing that the theory is that at the moment the rails are abandoned (removed) the easement is voided and the RR company or state loses any right to transfer or lease. Don’t know if any of these cases have reached final decision. It will be interesting to follow.


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I think that you have hit on some of the issues:
  1. The original taking of the property was explicitly for railroad use and it was done at a point in time where the B&M railroad did not have the money to replace washed out track on the segment north of Meredith.
  2. Consideration to repurpose a rail line typically requires a formal abandonment (as pointed out) wherein the rail line has not been used for a period of time. The current rail line is actively used and there are federally issued licenses with rights of renewal.
  3. According to Stone Consulting, the current rail line supports about $17.4 million of economic activity annually. The Alta study indicated about $12.4 million in economic benefit annually and a significant portion of that was "health" oriented which is not comparable.

It simply does not make any sense to "take" the rail line for special interest reasons. This is particularly so, based upon the fact that all indications are that it will be a negative economic impact relative to the current use.

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Old 11-24-2019, 11:30 AM   #203
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Thumbs down South Down Shore - red alert!

Jetskier in post #202 has South Down Shores for a local location, so that immediately raises the red flag alert to his South Down motivation to criticize replacing the ugly railroad tracks with a welcome, user-friendly 12' roadway for the public to use.
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Old 11-24-2019, 03:38 PM   #204
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Post Stick to the facts.

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Jetskier in post #202 has South Down Shores for a local location, so that immediately raises the red flag alert to his South Down motivation to criticize replacing the ugly railroad tracks with a welcome, user-friendly 12' roadway for the public to use.
ugly railroad tracks?
user friendly roadway?
My motivation?

Let's try to stick to the facts and not resort to personal attacks.
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Old 11-24-2019, 04:32 PM   #205
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I see the residents along the proposed route as stakeholders in the WOW debate.

It's easy to be in favor of a proposal when there is no direct impact on you.

Even if one is not directly impacted by the WOW Trail expansion, there is a tax payer implication to be considered.

Just consider the Colonial Theatre project to get a sense for what may be coming next.
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Old 11-25-2019, 04:45 AM   #206
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Default .... it's our private way, not your public way!

South Down doesn't want the Wow Trail to happen, for pretty much the same reason it didn't want the nearby Big Island to become a summer girls camp.

Because it will change what they see, looking at their lake view, and it will bring in people who were not there, before.

The Wow Trail, just like the Big Island summer girls camp would be a new, welcome, go-to place and create a beautiful public recreation venue.

South Down just wants things to stay the same, no new changes-thank you, and will fight hard to keep it their way.
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Old 11-25-2019, 10:41 AM   #207
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South Down doesn't want the Wow Trail to happen, for pretty much the same reason it didn't want the nearby Big Island to become a summer girls camp.

Because it will change what they see, looking at their lake view, and it will bring in people who were not there, before.

The Wow Trail, just like the Big Island summer girls camp would be a new, welcome, go-to place and create a beautiful public recreation venue.

South Down just wants things to stay the same, no new changes-thank you, and will fight hard to keep it their way.
All true and have the right to fight against it. Guessing it comes down to who has the deepest pockets. It is ironic that the south down tax payers are paying to fight against it and also paying through their property taxes for it.


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Old 11-25-2019, 11:19 AM   #208
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Why do the WOW folks want to put an existing business out of business? Why is it the WOW folks cannot co-exist with the RR? oh wait... it is all about the $$$! The RR existence makes the WOW trail too expensive to build! Then perhaps they shouldn't build/extend the WOW trail?

Lets not forget it is the same stupid City Councilors who decided to buy the Colonial for way too much money, proceed to sink way too much into the rebuild (because HEY its good for downtown) but will not spend any $$$ addressing the parking issues downtown! On the upside, good ole Rusty can step in, renovate the apartments above the theater, and make a fortune on the tax payers of Laconia! WOOHOO!


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Old 11-25-2019, 12:01 PM   #209
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Why do the WOW folks want to put an existing business out of business? Why is it the WOW folks cannot co-exist with the RR? oh wait... it is all about the $$$! The RR existence makes the WOW trail too expensive to build! Then perhaps they shouldn't build/extend the WOW trail?

Lets not forget it is the same stupid City Councilors who decided to buy the Colonial for way too much money, proceed to sink way too much into the rebuild (because HEY its good for downtown) but will not spend any $$$ addressing the parking issues downtown! On the upside, good ole Rusty can step in, renovate the apartments above the theater, and make a fortune on the tax payers of Laconia! WOOHOO!


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I agree. If they want the trail so badly (FYI I am near the trail and would actually enjoy it) raise the extra funds PRIVATELY and have them coexist. It is not fair in any way for the trail to put the Winnipesaukee Scenic Rail out of business especially when it has been an asset to the area for years. I sure many in favor of removing the rail would not like it if someone was trying to put them out of business for a walking trail so some other recreational issue.
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Old 11-25-2019, 12:38 PM   #210
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Read this in your best Walter Cronkite...

In the news today... the Laconia City council voted to agree with a sham study funded by the airport, that extending the airport runway would be an economic boon to the area. Unfortunately, this will put local favorite, Patrick's out of business.

Can you imagine? But that is the logic the WOW folks are pushing!

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Old 11-25-2019, 12:49 PM   #211
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I think that you have hit on some of the issues:
  1. The original taking of the property was explicitly for railroad use and it was done at a point in time where the B&M railroad did not have the money to replace washed out track on the segment north of Meredith.
  2. Consideration to repurpose a rail line typically requires a formal abandonment (as pointed out) wherein the rail line has not been used for a period of time. The current rail line is actively used and there are federally issued licenses with rights of renewal.

Jetskier
Not all railroad ROW's are easements, some cases the railroad's owned the land out right. I can't say for certain that this line was owned outright or not but I do know the majority of the lines the B&M operated were in fact owned outright by them and not easements. Either way the federal government instituted the National Trails System Act in 1983 that allows all ROW's abandoned by the railroad to be railbanked, which keeps easements from reverting back to the original landowners. However I am 99% certain the original landowners must be compensated again, since its intended purpose has changed. A tedious process to say the least, especially if the original land has been subdivided. That could cost the state a pretty penny if the line in question is only an easement.
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Old 11-25-2019, 01:08 PM   #212
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Read this in your best Walter Cronkite...

In the news today... the Laconia City council voted to agree with a sham study funded by the airport, that extending the airport runway would be an economic boon to the area. Unfortunately, this will put local favorite, Patrick's out of business.

Can you imagine? But that is the logic the WOW folks are pushing!

Woodsy
If you have enough money you can always find someone to be on your side. Studies can be swayed by who ever can adds more zero's to the check.
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Old 11-25-2019, 01:34 PM   #213
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If you have enough money you can always find someone to be on your side. Studies can be swayed by who ever can adds more zero's to the check.
My point exactly..... this so called study was paid for by the people who want the tracks gone!

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Old 11-25-2019, 03:17 PM   #214
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The answer should be extend the WOW trail up the east side of Paugus Bay all the way to the Weirs and leave the tracks alone on the west side.

There are some old tracks on the east side if they really want to pull some up.

Just think of all the commercial establishments that would benefit.

You keep the railroad in business plus you generate new business. Once the commercial establishments add public docks even the boaters will be happy.

Nobody has to disappoint the snowmobilers either

Perhaps SB/Longbay would pony up the funds for the cause they would otherwise be giving to the lawyers


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Old 11-25-2019, 03:44 PM   #215
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The answer should be extend the WOW trail up the east side of Paugus Bay all the way to the Weirs and leave the tracks alone on the west side.

There are some old tracks on the east side if they really want to pull some up.

Just think of all the commercial establishments that would benefit.

You keep the railroad in business plus you generate new business. Once the commercial establishments add public docks even the boaters will be happy.

Nobody has to disappoint the snowmobilers either

Perhaps SB/Longbay would pony up the funds for the cause they would otherwise be giving to the lawyers


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East side has way too many obstacles such as motels, docks, businesses and very limited about of land.

However you do bring up an excellent point not brought up often. What will happens to the snowmobile trail? I highly doubt they would be allowed on the WOW Trail as they are not allowed on the current section.

I for one would be every disappointed as I use that corridor often
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Old 11-26-2019, 09:41 AM   #216
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Laconia city counsel shelves the push to have the railroad tracks removed for the time being.
https://www.wmur.com/article/laconia...trail/29969490
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Old 11-26-2019, 09:52 AM   #217
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Laconia city counsel shelves the push to have the railroad tracks removed for the time being.
https://www.wmur.com/article/laconia...trail/29969490
Hopefully they will shelve extending the airport!
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Old 11-26-2019, 10:43 AM   #218
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Laconia city counsel shelves the push to have the railroad tracks removed for the time being.
https://www.wmur.com/article/laconia...trail/29969490
shouldn't even be a discussion - answer is No, for the mere fact they can't legally do it. Also the fact that they even would consider shutting down commerce for everyone involved with the tracks. Good luck with lawyers in court in that one. No wonder my taxes went up so they can waste the money on a snowball being thrown into hell

The audacity of these WOW trail people astounds me.
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Old 11-26-2019, 10:44 AM   #219
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Laconia city counsel shelves the push to have the railroad tracks removed for the time being.
https://www.wmur.com/article/laconia...trail/29969490
Awesome news. Thank you for the update. FLL will need to find another crusade in the meantime I am sure that should not be a problem
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Old 11-26-2019, 12:56 PM   #220
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Question ... a railroad track that once was?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, once upon a time, many, many years ago, there was a railroad line that traveled along the Lake Winnipesaukee shoreline in Meredith, and the Weirs Beach and Lakeport areas in Laconia.

First built away back in 1883 or so, for many, many years it was a very important transportation link.

However, with the building of Rt-93 in 1965, and the big switch from steel wheel trains to rubber tired cars and trucks, the Winnipesaukee Railroad tracks have greatly declined with little to no use, no trains, no freight, and no passengers.

What it really is, is an unused railroad track, something more like a railroad track that belongs in a museum.

The Winnipesaukee Railroad ….. it was great when it was alive ….. but it is now totally dead …. may it rest in pieces! …

If you were to go down to the track today on November 26, 2019, you would have to wait about six months before a train actually came down this here railroad track ….. a-yuh! …

Next train coming along in May, 2020 on this here www.hoborr.com/winni.html will be the Mother's Day opening day rail ride train, or something, which is not even a real train ….. it is a local tourist train.

So, Gov Chris Sununu, please help move the lakes region forward by tearing out these old steel rails and wood railroad ties, and help build the www.wowtrail.org in its' place.
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Old 11-26-2019, 02:02 PM   #221
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Awesome news. Thank you for the update. FLL will need to find another crusade in the meantime I am sure that should not be a problem
FLL will promote anything that doesn't cost him money. His moto is "if it's free it's for me".
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Old 11-26-2019, 02:18 PM   #222
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FLL will promote anything that doesn't cost him money. His moto is "if it's free it's for me".
Hit the nail on the head!!!
Or on the knuckle head

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Old 11-26-2019, 03:20 PM   #223
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Hmmm? seems there are a lot of business that are seasonal and won't reopen or start up again till spring, should we demand they all shut down if we don't like them or use them if someone else wants to use the space?
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Old 11-26-2019, 04:03 PM   #224
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Last nights city council meeting is on YouTube. The testimonies start around the 13 minute mark.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhjgwDcVdnk
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Old 11-26-2019, 06:18 PM   #225
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Last nights city council meeting is on YouTube. The testimonies start around the 13 minute mark.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhjgwDcVdnk
Interesting testimonials. All in favor of keeping the rail. Surprised no one spoke in favor of removal and no one from WOW.org


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Old 11-26-2019, 07:52 PM   #226
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Default .... it's our private way, it's not your public way!

Slow moving 9-mph, rubber tired trolley buses would function similar to the existing Winnipesaukee Railroad, and could co-exist with pedestrians, runners, and bicyclists on a 12'-wide 'trail' that's built to replace the demolished railroad steel tracks and wood ties.

So, that makes a 12' 'trail' a multi-purpose plan that will accommodate both the trolley riders and the people powered foot traffic and bicyclists.

Over the course of the Wow Trail route, there are numerous areas where a wider 15' rail trail can be built that makes it a little more accommodating for the pedestrians and trolley to share the road.

With a railroad train, the tracks cannot be shared with anyone, and indeed as it is private property, the abutting residents are quick to call the police on unknown, incoming, track walkers.

The railroad track is not so much a railroad track, but is much more a 'no trespassing', safety buffer line for home owner security.

When local residents say "we love the Winnipesaukee Railroad" ..... what they really mean is that they love it as a line of private property with no trespassing, and they basically have control over who gets to walk across, or along the track.

"It's our way, it's not your way!"

"Hey Rene, there's an incoming boogie out on the tracks, about 250-yards south down ..... better call the cops!"
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Old 11-26-2019, 07:59 PM   #227
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I just do not understand. This is an extremely important topic to many of us here on the form. Why must you derail it with your dribble and babbling nonsense


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Old 11-27-2019, 07:31 AM   #228
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I just do not understand. This is an extremely important topic to many of us here on the form. Why must you derail it with your dribble and babbling nonsense


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Because he has a captive audience on here. In person, no one would listen to him.
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Old 11-27-2019, 10:21 AM   #229
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Because he has a captive audience on here. In person, no one would listen to him.
This board has an "ignore" option; if you don't want to read what someone posts you can choose to "ignore" them, and their posts will no longer be visible to you.

Not that you should, but you could.
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Old 11-27-2019, 11:37 AM   #230
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This board has an "ignore" option; if you don't want to read what someone posts you can choose to "ignore" them, and their posts will no longer be visible to you.

Not that you should, but you could.
Occasionally he has something worth reading and I can usually tell before I get too far into it. That's the only reason I don't block him but those postings are few and far between.
Usually it's just the same old ***** rehashed over and over again because he's got nothing else to do.
I hope I never get that lonely. I hope he has somewhere to go on Thanksgiving besides Walmart.
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Old 11-27-2019, 11:48 AM   #231
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This board has an "ignore" option; if you don't want to read what someone posts you can choose to "ignore" them, and their posts will no longer be visible to you.

Not that you should, but you could.
It's a waste of time since most people "quote" his posts when replying to or about him so you end up seeing it anyway
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Old 11-27-2019, 12:22 PM   #232
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Default "Occasionally he has something worth reading"

This may one of those times.

There is something very important in FLL's post that I haven't seen addressed - a trolley. It may be here, I just might have missed it.

The best utilization of Laconia, the Weirs, and Meredith will happen when you can easily get from one to the other. Shop and play all day and only have to park once.

I (naively I am finding out) assumed they would use the existing tracks as a trolley system to connect the three locations.

Is there a plan for getting people from one location to the other, or will it all be Uber/Lyft/Cabs?
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Old 11-27-2019, 02:31 PM   #233
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TheRoBoat - you can't have light rail (trolley/subway) and heavy rail (railroads) intermingle on the same tracks. The only place where it was ever allowed (that I'm aware of) was in Lowell, MA where the National Park trolley, made use of industrial railroad tracks when the B&M was still servicing customers on the same track. That was in the 1980's and very early 1990's but times have changed and things of that nature, are not allowed anymore.
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Old 11-27-2019, 02:52 PM   #234
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Default Light/Heavy Rail

Thanks for the info Trail Goer. That explanation makes sense, for that situation.

I don't think this is a similar situation, and while there may be "rules", you could have a fully functioning trolley system, and keep the rail. The Clark family could run both, and schedule accordingly.

I would also argue that given the choice between the Winni/Hobo and trolley, the trolley would be a much more lucrative operation.

But the question remains - if not trolley, how do the people get between the towns?
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Old 11-27-2019, 03:14 PM   #235
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Thanks for the info Trail Goer. That explanation makes sense, for that situation.

I don't think this is a similar situation, and while there may be "rules", you could have a fully functioning trolley system, and keep the rail. The Clark family could run both, and schedule accordingly.

I would also argue that given the choice between the Winni/Hobo and trolley, the trolley would be a much more lucrative operation.

But the question remains - if not trolley, how do the people get between the towns?
Your missing the point. They operate on different systems. The current rails are also used for freight and parts for the Hobo rail and changing would be extremely costly.

Also, the current rail stops in Lakeport, the Weir’s and Meredith


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Old 11-27-2019, 03:20 PM   #236
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Why does everyone think we must go between Meredith and Laconia? Has anyone asked Meredith? On second thought they do have a large number of benches and grassy areas along the docks for those interested in napping


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Old 11-27-2019, 03:52 PM   #237
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Default Your missing the point

When Trail Goer said they coexisted, I assumed that he meant they used the same tracks - Heavy and Light.

By your reply - It appears you are saying no, they use different size tracks.

The rail should remain as is - I am in agreement with you. I am not in favor of removing tracks for the WOW trail.

So all the Clark Family needs is a few retrofitted trolley cars
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Old 11-27-2019, 03:54 PM   #238
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Default Has anyone asked Meredith?

The more important question is has anyone asked TPG Resorts?
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Old 11-27-2019, 04:12 PM   #239
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I'm not aware of passengers being able to get on or off at Lakeport, I think its just the location where the train reverses direction. I could be wrong though, I just haven't paid to close attention to it.
I know downtown is kind of largely over looked by a lot of people but as I keep telling people, every revitalization project has a first step. Having Laconia become and active train station again, I think would do wonders for downtown, I just don't know how it would work out with the railroads current operations. The draw bridge at Lakeport is control by the railroad but they have to stop and manually flip a switch to close it, which adds lag time. I suppose a closed circuit system could be installed, similar to what activates the lights and bells at a railroad crossing, but in this case to close and open a draw bridge.
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Old 11-27-2019, 04:15 PM   #240
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Default Molly the Trolley

Molly the Trolley works just fine in Wolfeboro. A couple of flag stops along a circular route from MacIntyre (sp?) Circle/WalMart, Margate to, say, Akwa Marine, Weirs Beach RR station and Funspot would allow non-drivers such as teens to go shopping, to the beach, etc. Tourists could ride to the Weirs for the Mount, Sophie C. without feeding parking meters. Of course, the Weirs docks are still, well, you know.
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Old 11-28-2019, 06:03 AM   #241
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Default ..... and another thing!

And, another thing about replacing the 9-mile long x 9-foot wide existing un-used single railroad track that runs along the Winnipesaukee embankment from Lakeport to Weirs Beach to Meredith with a 12-foot wide gravel roadway.

In addition to a tourist trolley like Wolfeboro's 'Molly the Trolley' sharing the Wow Trail with walkers, joggers, runners, and bicyclists ...... a 12-wide gravel roadway would get patrolled by the www.laconianh.gov/229/Police who could be walking, bicycling, or driving along slowly in a Laconia Police patrol cruiser.

It would change the use from a very infrequent summer tourist train to a 7-day, 52-week, waterfront access, Lake Winnipesaukee go-to rail trail ...... what's not to like!
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Old 11-28-2019, 07:09 AM   #242
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Removing the tracks would be a terrible mistake in my eyes, and I feel an option where the two coexist would be best for everyone.

Perhaps the push by the city to remove the track will motivate the Clark family to make Lakeport a more frequent / favorable stop. With the recent investments announced in Lakeport, and some that have not yet been announced, it may prove to be an economically beneficial move to the rail line.
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Old 11-28-2019, 08:18 AM   #243
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My house is about a mile away from the train stop in Meredith and I'm always aggravated when I take the grandkids for the 1/2 ride on the train. I can't take the 1/2 ride from the Meredith station. I have to drive to Wears to take a 1/2 ride either back to Meredith or to Lake Port. The little one's don't have the patients to go for the full ride from Meredith to Lake Port and back. I'm not sure why they can't manage this properly.
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:52 PM   #244
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I didn't get a chance to watch the video on the city council's meeting till this past weekend. Just a few remarks, I would like to make on the video.

1. I like how Mr. Clark, president of the Plymouth and Lincoln Railroad, was extremely informative but I find it troubling that, the Stone Consulting study, never made it to the city counsel when it was first released and I find it troubling that he had to point out all the deficiency in the report done by Alta, those deficiencies should've been addressed before the report was released.

2. Mr. Dearness owner of New England Southern railroad noted that none of his information that he provided was even in the report. The guy takes time to partake in the study and they just omit all his information in the final report, what's up with that?

3. I like the points made by the Conway Scenic's owner Mr. Swirk, about taking the opportunity to capitalize on a resource, sitting right in front of them, rather than destroy it. That gentlemen has over 30 years experience in the freight railroad industry and Chicopee, MA was a perfect example he used of a city that saw an opportunity and took advantage of it, creating many jobs for that area. I'd like to see Laconia do the same but that discussion needs to have its own topic.

4. I found the Mayor's response on the current law (railroads take 1st priority on state owned ROW's) to be arrogant and condescending towards the gentlemen who was trying to remind him of that law.

5. Lastly, I was surprised not one person was on hand to show support for the WOW Trail and if they were, I don't recall them speaking. With the city creating so much tribulation over trail vs rail, I would have expected some support to back up the cities effort, of its "Hostile Takeover" quest.
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:56 PM   #245
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Post NH HB25 never mentioned

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I didn't get a chance to watch the video on the city council's meeting till this past weekend. Just a few remarks, I would like to make on the video.

1. I like how Mr. Clark, president of the Plymouth and Lincoln Railroad, was extremely informative but I find it troubling that, the Stone Consulting study, never made it to the city counsel when it was first released and I find it troubling that he had to point out all the deficiency in the report done by Alta, those deficiencies should've been addressed before the report was released.

2. Mr. Dearness owner of New England Southern railroad noted that none of his information that he provided was even in the report. The guy takes time to partake in the study and they just omit all his information in the final report, what's up with that?

3. I like the points made by the Conway Scenic's owner Mr. Swirk, about taking the opportunity to capitalize on a resource, sitting right in front of them, rather than destroy it. That gentlemen has over 30 years experience in the freight railroad industry and Chicopee, MA was a perfect example he used of a city that saw an opportunity and took advantage of it, creating many jobs for that area. I'd like to see Laconia do the same but that discussion needs to have its own topic.

4. I found the Mayor's response on the current law (railroads take 1st priority on state owned ROW's) to be arrogant and condescending towards the gentlemen who was trying to remind him of that law.

5. Lastly, I was surprised not one person was on hand to show support for the WOW Trail and if they were, I don't recall them speaking. With the city creating so much tribulation over trail vs rail, I would have expected some support to back up the cities effort, of its "Hostile Takeover" quest.
I listened to the recording of the meeting and agree with your observations. The other very interesting fact (never mentioned) is that NH HB25 has passed and it includes funding for renovations (railroad ties, bridge repairs) along this segment (and attached segments) of the rail line. So, the Mayor in indicating that anything can be changed, never mentioned that the state is making a significant investment in the continued operation of the rail line.

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Old 12-03-2019, 09:31 PM   #246
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A rail line can not be considered abandoned (and/or declared surplus) as long as it is active, whether once a day, once a month, or once a year.

The fact remains that this line continues to be used and as such it will stay as it is unless or until it is relocated (which it won't) or is permanently abandoned (which is dependent upon the rail users of the line). This line is still very much active.

I would guesstimate that the Mayor of Laconia may be looking for votes in discussing elimination of the rail line. It's a shame that tax payer money is being spent in "doing studies". Studies are absolutely useless unless or until Federal Railroad Regulations are substantially changed.

None of these Railroad Regulations are new as most were established back in the 1800's when the great Iron Horse started criss crossing our nation.





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Old 12-04-2019, 09:54 AM   #247
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Default ..... To The Daily Sun

Here's a Dec 2 letter to the editor published in The LaDa Sun.
...............

'Concord and Laconia keep railroad on life support'

To The Daily Sun

Laconia Mayor-elect Andrew Hosmer and the rest of the city council's recent delay on the proposed rail-trail is impacting not just Laconia but the entire state.

The New Hampshire railroad industry is dead; it's been dead for a long time. The state owned railroad line from Concord to Lincoln is an example of what is wrong with Concord and the way the state rules.

From what I've seen, the Bureau of Rail, Transit and Aeronautics is controlled by nostalgic railroad fans that want to return New Hampshire to the glory days or railroading - think steam engines, Pullman cars and the grand hotels.

This isn't going to happen in Laconia or anywhere in the Granite State.

Also, because of Concord, New Hampshire no longer has a manufactoring or commodity base to support any railroad, and even if it did, it wouldn't be competitive against interstate 93 and, once the 5G network is finished, driverless trucks.

The New Hampshire railroad industry is dead; it's been dead for a long time. The politicians in Laconia and Concord want to keep it on life support.

Steven J Connolly
Bethlehem
..................

Here in New Hampshire, we don't really have a railroad, what we have is more like a failroad. .... my comment-fll.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:30 AM   #248
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Originally Posted by fatlazyless View Post
Here's a Dec 2 letter to the editor published in The LaDa Sun.
...............

'Concord and Laconia keep railroad on life support'

To The Daily Sun

Laconia Mayor-elect Andrew Hosmer and the rest of the city council's recent delay on the proposed rail-trail is impacting not just Laconia but the entire state.

The New Hampshire railroad industry is dead; it's been dead for a long time. The state owned railroad line from Concord to Lincoln is an example of what is wrong with Concord and the way the state rules.

From what I've seen, the Bureau of Rail, Transit and Aeronautics is controlled by nostalgic railroad fans that want to return New Hampshire to the glory days or railroading - think steam engines, Pullman cars and the grand hotels.

This isn't going to happen in Laconia or anywhere in the Granite State.

Also, because of Concord, New Hampshire no longer has a manufactoring or commodity base to support any railroad, and even if it did, it wouldn't be competitive against interstate 93 and, once the 5G network is finished, driverless trucks.

The New Hampshire railroad industry is dead; it's been dead for a long time. The politicians in Laconia and Concord want to keep it on life support.

Steven J Connolly
Bethlehem
..................

Here in New Hampshire, we don't really have a railroad, what we have is more like a failroad. .... my comment-fll.
A useful on topic post. Thank you.

However I disagree that the rail system in NH is dead and I certainly disagree with Mr Connolly. Try telling this to the Hobo and Winnipesaukee Rail Companies, Conway Scenic Rail and others that continue to employee residents of this state and continue to be profitable.

Watch the video of the town meeting and tell me that rail is dead. You are just pushing your agenda of removing the rail in place of the trail.

I keep saying it, if you want the trail they should coexist. If you think the trail will be that more socially and economically beneficial to the area than spend the extra dollar for them to run parallel.
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:34 PM   #249
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Post Actually, it is simple

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A useful on topic post. Thank you.

However I disagree that the rail system in NH is dead and I certainly disagree with Mr Connolly. Try telling this to the Hobo and Winnipesaukee Rail Companies, Conway Scenic Rail and others that continue to employee residents of this state and continue to be profitable.

Watch the video of the town meeting and tell me that rail is dead. You are just pushing your agenda of removing the rail in place of the trail.

I keep saying it, if you want the trail they should coexist. If you think the trail will be that more socially and economically beneficial to the area than spend the extra dollar for them to run parallel.
The solution to the problem is simple:
  1. There is no way that the current active rail line is going to be repurposed for the WOW trail. There is no basis to displace the businesses, there are federal right of use licenses and the state is investing the current rail line.
  2. The rails with trails solution is too costly and there are a number of property rights issues and construction challenges.

The solution is to consider alternatives that are less disruptive and affordable. That is the path (no pun) of progress...everything else has become pretty much moot.

Just saying...

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Old 12-04-2019, 12:42 PM   #250
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The solution to the problem is simple:
  1. There is no way that the current active rail line is going to be repurposed for the WOW trail. There is no basis to displace the businesses, there are federal right of use licenses and the state is investing the current rail line.
  2. The rails with trails solution is too costly and there are a number of property rights issues and construction challenges.

The solution is to consider alternatives that are less disruptive and affordable. That is the path (no pun) of progress...everything else has become pretty much moot.

Just saying...

Jetskier
I am all for a temporary diversion of the trail in certain areas to ease cost and let both coexist. I would love to see some proposed alternatives
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:09 PM   #251
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i've been saying it for years. from meredith center road, down union ave past the businesses that will benefit from it, left onto lake street past the margate on the margate side, and continue onto weirs Blvd on lake side all the way to the weirs

install walking path/sidewalk, probably 1/3 or less the cost (just speculation on cost of course, but no way as much as what they are trying to do)
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:44 PM   #252
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Here's a Dec 2 letter to the editor published in The LaDa Sun.
...............

'Concord and Laconia keep railroad on life support'

To The Daily Sun

Laconia Mayor-elect Andrew Hosmer and the rest of the city council's recent delay on the proposed rail-trail is impacting not just Laconia but the entire state.

The New Hampshire railroad industry is dead; it's been dead for a long time. The state owned railroad line from Concord to Lincoln is an example of what is wrong with Concord and the way the state rules.

From what I've seen, the Bureau of Rail, Transit and Aeronautics is controlled by nostalgic railroad fans that want to return New Hampshire to the glory days or railroading - think steam engines, Pullman cars and the grand hotels.

This isn't going to happen in Laconia or anywhere in the Granite State.

Also, because of Concord, New Hampshire no longer has a manufactoring or commodity base to support any railroad, and even if it did, it wouldn't be competitive against interstate 93 and, once the 5G network is finished, driverless trucks.

The New Hampshire railroad industry is dead; it's been dead for a long time. The politicians in Laconia and Concord want to keep it on life support.

Steven J Connolly
Bethlehem
..................

Here in New Hampshire, we don't really have a railroad, what we have is more like a failroad. .... my comment-fll.
Ask Mr. Connolly how well the Downeaster is doing. I remember him saying the Downeaster would be a failure and a waste of money. Well, now you would be hard pressed to find a seat on some of those trains. The fact of the matter is, Mr. Connolly is part of the problem in this state, quick to shoot everything down and lacks the ability to offer up any type of alternative solutions, he just wants to keep the status quo. So, let me ask how is the status quo doing for NH? Mr. Swirk the owner of the Conway Scenic Railroad, presented a very good example to the city council last week that pointed out how investing in the infrastructure that's in place is the real economic engine, not tearing it out. Chicopee, MA is reaping the benefits from that investment, it created jobs and revenue for that community. The Downeaster has spurred growth along its tracks as was pointed out in last week’s meeting with the city council. Take a look at the Grafton and Upton Railroad, down in Grafton, MA that railroad had been all but abandoned for 20+ years, couldn't even see the tracks they were over grown so much, now freight trains run up and down the line just about every day. Again, it's created jobs, spurred economic growth in those communities. If Laconia really wants to create economic growth, creating real jobs is the way to go, not building trails.

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Old 12-04-2019, 05:55 PM   #253
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i've been saying it for years. from meredith center road, down union ave past the businesses that will benefit from it, left onto lake street past the margate on the margate side, and continue onto weirs Blvd on lake side all the way to the weirs

install walking path/sidewalk, probably 1/3 or less the cost (just speculation on cost of course, but no way as much as what they are trying to do)
I have no dog in this fight but that will not work no matter how many times you say it.

There are many areas including in front of the NASWA where it drops off into the lower parking lot that there is no physical room for a sidewalk. There would be safety concerns about the proximity of cars with pedestrians along route 3, especially at night.

Also, the people who are interested and in favor of this most likely have no desire to walk along with traffic and inhale car fumes. They can get that experience many other places.

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Old 12-05-2019, 12:42 AM   #254
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I have no dog in this fight but that will not work no matter how many times you say it.

There are many areas including in front of the NASWA where it drops off into the lower parking lot that there is no physical room for a sidewalk. There would be safety concerns about the proximity of cars with pedestrians along route 3, especially at night.

Also, the people who are interested and in favor of this most likely have no desire to walk along with traffic and inhale car fumes. They can get that experience many other places.
Agreed. There are also many other areas where a lake side sidewalk would lead straight to homeowners private docks, lake side property etc. You'd have a dozen or more crosswalks where the sidewalk would have to cross back and forth from Lake side to the Northern side and vice versa. Not to mention many areas where the site work required to allow the sidewalk and roadway enough room to coexist would be extremely expensive.
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:48 AM   #255
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Agreed. There are also many other areas where a lake side sidewalk would lead straight to homeowners private docks, lake side property etc. You'd have a dozen or more crosswalks where the sidewalk would have to cross back and forth from Lake side to the Northern side and vice versa. Not to mention many areas where the site work required to allow the sidewalk and roadway enough room to coexist would be extremely expensive.
the town does not have easement rights for street and sidewalks? People run and bike up and down Weirs Blvd everyday without a sidewalk
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:51 AM   #256
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the town does not have easement rights for street and sidewalks? People run and bike up and down Weirs Blvd everyday without a sidewalk
Yes the city has some rights. But in many areas it would be physically impossible to build a sidewalk because of the terrain. There are steep slopes to the lake in a lot of places.

I am sure when you proposed the idea of building a retaining wall into the lake and throwing in a little gravel fill DES would be happy with the plan and tell you to go right ahead!

At one time Laconia required anyone doing new construction along Weirs Boulevard, and many other places, to build a sidewalk with granite curb. You can see many of the "sidewalks to nowhere" along Weirs Boulevard. On the Boulevard in front of Evergreen is the first one that comes to mind. They have now backed off of that plan because numerous individual unconnected sidewalks were not accomplishing the desired results.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:06 AM   #257
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Yes the city has some rights. But in many areas it would be physically impossible to build a sidewalk because of the terrain. There are steep slopes to the lake in a lot of places.

I am sure when you proposed the idea of building a retaining wall into the lake and throwing in a little gravel fill DES would be happy with the plan and tell you to go right ahead!

At one time Laconia required anyone doing new construction along Weirs Boulevard, and many other places, to build a sidewalk with granite curb. You can see many of the "sidewalks to nowhere" along Weirs Boulevard. On the Boulevard in front of Evergreen is the first one that comes to mind. They have now backed off of that plan because numerous individual unconnected sidewalks were not accomplishing the desired results.
I'm talking on the road level, in easement area, not right on the waters edge, there is no need to build retaining walls or anything like that, there is plenty of room roadside. sidewalks have existed beside roads for as long as roads have existed
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:24 AM   #258
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I'm talking on the road level, in easement area, not right on the waters edge, there is no need to build retaining walls or anything like that, there is plenty of room roadside. sidewalks have existed beside roads for as long as roads have existed
I think you need to go look at the road again. There are areas where immediately beside the lane of travel there is a guard rail and a steep drop. As I said, there is no place to build a sidewalk. There is no "easement area" just a drop.

And, walking along route 3 with traffic would present an entirely different experience than what the proponents of the WOW trail have envisioned. it is just never going to happen.
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Old 12-05-2019, 01:06 PM   #259
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New to this forum but had to register just to post my disdain for this initiative. Trying to shut down an active business both from the tourist and B2B work the shops do as a contractor is just pathetic. If you Wow folks are successful I hope they come to shut down your business next. One of the most patently unAmerican ideas I have seen proposed. Not against a trail by any means but to even suggest this as the means is abhorrent.
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Old 12-05-2019, 01:33 PM   #260
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New to this forum but had to register just to post my disdain for this initiative. Trying to shut down an active business both from the tourist and B2B work the shops do as a contractor is just pathetic. If you Wow folks are successful I hope they come to shut down your business next. One of the most patently unAmerican ideas I have seen proposed. Not against a trail by any means but to even suggest this as the means is abhorrent.
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Old 12-05-2019, 01:55 PM   #261
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If you Wow folks are successful I hope they come to shut down your business next. One of the most patently unAmerican ideas I have seen proposed.
Welcome to the Forum. I wish I could take credit for this, but someone suggested extending the runway at the Laconia Airport through Patrick's Pub. That would be a great start!
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:45 PM   #262
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I think you need to go look at the road again. There are areas where immediately beside the lane of travel there is a guard rail and a steep drop. As I said, there is no place to build a sidewalk. There is no "easement area" just a drop.

And, walking along route 3 with traffic would present an entirely different experience than what the proponents of the WOW trail have envisioned. it is just never going to happen.
This is exactly what I was referring to. For example - my property on Paugus has no room on the lake side for a sidewalk, there may be 6" between the white line and the guard rail, and beyond the guard rail is a sheer drop to the lake. Just down the road from my property is another which would require substantial work for a side walk to be put in on the northern side / non-lake side, if it were even possible. There are many properties along the Blvd. where a sidewalk would simply be a massive undertaking.
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Old 12-10-2019, 07:52 PM   #263
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Riding a bicycle along Weirs Blvd, US Route 3, from the Weirs roundabout to the Shaws supermarket on the Laconia/Gilford town line is pretty doable on both sides of the road. Both sides, going north or south, have solid white lines between the car lane and the dirt shoulder with the width varying from one to three feet of paved "bicycle or pedestrian" lane between the white line and the end of the paved asphalt surface.

The speed limit is either 35 or 30-mph, which is relatively slow, and helps to make it safe for pedaling a bicycle.

The dirt soft shoulder gives about another 1-3' depending on location, there.

In the summer I see bicyclists pedaling down the side "bicycle/pedestrian" lane on the boulevard pretty frequently. Adults just out for a bicycle ride on modest looking bikes with and without helmets.
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Old 12-11-2019, 05:59 AM   #264
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This is exactly what I was referring to. For example - my property on Paugus has no room on the lake side for a sidewalk, there may be 6" between the white line and the guard rail, and beyond the guard rail is a sheer drop to the lake. Just down the road from my property is another which would require substantial work for a side walk to be put in on the northern side / non-lake side, if it were even possible. There are many properties along the Blvd. where a sidewalk would simply be a massive undertaking.
Well, they could take your house by eminent domain and put in a sidewalk. Then everybody who want the sidewalk would be happy. You might not be though.
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Old 12-11-2019, 08:15 PM   #265
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Both sides, going north or south, have solid white lines between the car lane and the dirt shoulder with the width varying from one to three feet of paved "bicycle or pedestrian" lane between the white line and the end of the paved asphalt surface.

The dirt soft shoulder gives about another 1-3' depending on location, there.
There is absolutely not a 1-3' dirt shoulder on either side of the white line the whole length of the Blvd. There are AREAS where this shoulder exists, but not the entire length of the Blvd.

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Well, they could take your house by eminent domain and put in a sidewalk. Then everybody who want the sidewalk would be happy. You might not be though.
Sure, and the tax payers would be ecstatic to inherit the costs associated with building the trail through properties purchased via eminent domain as well.

I was simply trying to add useful insight into the conversation. I have zero concern about the WOW trail being routed down the Blvd; there is simply not a realistic plan to do so.
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Old 12-11-2019, 09:00 PM   #266
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There is absolutely not a 1-3' dirt shoulder on either side of the white line the whole length of the Blvd. There are AREAS where this shoulder exists, but not the entire length of the Blvd.
No, I respectfully disagree because yesterday on Tuesday I drove along Weirs Blvd in both directions, and took a good look at the 'bicycle/pedestrian' lane as it exists between the white lines at the edge of the paved road and the dirt shoulder area while thinking about it in terms of riding a bicycle.

The usable bicycle width of pavement outside the white line varies from one to three feet with a steel safety barrier fence installed along the waterfront side of the road, there.

On the non-waterfront side, it's about the same one to three feet width of "bike lane" with a varying size of dirt soft shoulder area, running along private home, front areas.
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Old 12-11-2019, 10:25 PM   #267
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There is absolutely not a 1-3' dirt shoulder on either side of the white line the whole length of the Blvd. There are AREAS where this shoulder exists, but not the entire length of the Blvd.

Sure, and the tax payers would be ecstatic to inherit the costs associated with building the trail through properties purchased via eminent domain as well.

I was simply trying to add useful insight into the conversation. I have zero concern about the WOW trail being routed down the Blvd; there is simply not a realistic plan to do so.
Can we not use the dirt and rocks pulled from the canal dig to fill in the open spots along the Blvd?


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Old 12-12-2019, 05:35 AM   #268
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There is absolutely not a 1-3' dirt shoulder on either side of the white line the whole length of the Blvd. There are AREAS where this shoulder exists, but not the entire length of the Blvd.

Sure, and the tax payers would be ecstatic to inherit the costs associated with building the trail through properties purchased via eminent domain as well.

I was simply trying to add useful insight into the conversation. I have zero concern about the WOW trail being routed down the Blvd; there is simply not a realistic plan to do so.
That was a very sarcastic remark. I hate eminent domain. It is abused.
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Old 12-12-2019, 07:06 AM   #269
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Can we not use the dirt and rocks pulled from the canal dig to fill in the open spots along the Blvd?


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Because of the steep slope it would require a retaining wall built in the lake to keep any fill in place. And it is not like it would be needed in one small area. There are numerous places where that is the only way you could do it. Even if it was a good idea, good luck getting that approved by DES.

And taking people's property? Look at the drop and retaining wall to the right of the NASWA into their parking lot. What are you going to do there?

It seems that the only people offering opinions about what a good idea this would be have no idea of the topography they are talking about. Again, if you think it makes sense, walk the length of Weirs Boulevard and look at the numerous places where it would be a challenge to create any type of sidewalk.
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Old 12-12-2019, 09:14 AM   #270
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Default ..... just a white line is all there is

Well, having that white line running along the edge of Weirs Blvd with one to three feet of pavement before it becomes a dirt shoulder is actually very, very good for a central New Hampshire road for pedaling a bicycle or walking.

In the country of the Netherlands, informally Holland, which has a long history of bicycle paths built along side a road, Holland bike trails will have a physical barrier between the bike lane and the road whenever the car speed limit is above 19-mph.

A physical barrier can be a fence, masonry wall, bushes, trees, a water canal or combination.

On Weirs Blvd, US Route 3, the speed limit is either 30 or 35-mph for cars between the roundabout and the intersection with Union Ave at the Bayside Cemetery.

For bicyclers and pedestrians who pedal or walk along the one to three feet area of asphalt pavement that exists between the white line and the dirt shoulder, there are cars moving along at 30-35 mph and the only physical safety is the white line on the pavement, just the white line, not a physical barrier.

New Hampshire has a state law that says motorists must keep 3-feet distance, at 30-mph, 4-feet at 40-mph, 5-feet at 50-mph, and 6-feet at 60-mph, when passing a person on a bicycle. So legally, a motor vehicle is supposed to cross the center line on Weirs Blvd when passing a bicyclist in order to stay the legal distance away from the bicycle. If not possible due to oncoming traffic, the motorist is supposed to slow down and/or wait before proceeding past the bicycler.

Does that happen? What do you think?
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Old 12-14-2019, 09:16 AM   #271
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New Hampshire has a state law that says motorists must keep 3-feet distance, at 30-mph, 4-feet at 40-mph, 5-feet at 50-mph, and 6-feet at 60-mph, when passing a person on a bicycle. So legally, a motor vehicle is supposed to cross the center line on Weirs Blvd when passing a bicyclist in order to stay the legal distance away from the bicycle. If not possible due to oncoming traffic, the motorist is supposed to slow down and/or wait before proceeding past the bicycler.

Does that happen? What do you think?
No it doesn't and I break that law quite often because these people on bicycles seem to think they own the road. Well I have no problem reminding them that roads are bought and paid for by MOTOR VEHICLE registrations. If cyclists are so hell bent on having their own dedicated lanes, fine register them all I say. I think a nice $200 flat registration fee is a good start, and make it self funding. Hell why not put a few toll booths in, think of the money the state could make putting EZPASS in these bike lanes and WOW trail if it ever comes to be. Afterall pedestrians and cyclist MUST pay their "fair share" too.

In fact bicycles should be outlawed on Class 2 and 3 roads.
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Old 12-14-2019, 10:05 AM   #272
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http://www.fosters.com/news/20190701...-use-full-lane

As I recall the speed limit on Weirs Blvd is either 35 or 30-mph which is not too slow, not too fast for a car to share the road with a bicycle. As already mentioned but worth mentioning again, having the one to three feet of pavement that is outside the white line at the edge of Weirs Blvd is better that what's usually available on Route-3 in central NH so that makes it a little safer for the bicycles.

Is not too unusual to see the bike pedalers on Weirs Blvd wearing large back packs all loaded with with shopping bags of food that was probably just purchased maybe at the nearby Shaw's, so apparently in the summer they use their bikes to get to and back from the grocery store for food shopping.

Hey, not everyone has car for getting around here, and some really depend on their bicycles in the warmer months as a way to go food shopping.
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Old 12-14-2019, 07:58 PM   #273
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Thumbs up ...... raise the gasoline tax by ten cents/gallon!

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In fact bicycles should be outlawed on Class 2 and 3 roads.
As I understand it, Class 2 NH roads are the very common, numbered local roads that go all over the state, and are not the limited access interstate highways like Route 93. Locally, NH Routes 3-11-25-28-49-104-109-113-132-153-171-175 and others are all class 2 roads.

So, your bicycle exclusion suggestion would basically ban bicycles from pedaling the 97-mile circle loop http://www.winnipesaukee.net/lakes-r...ound-the-lake/ around Lake Winnipesaukee.

What I suggest is raising the gasoline tax by ten cents/gallon as a serious effective way to pay for maintaining and improving the NH road system which includes both Route 93, Class 2 roads, and rail/trail bicycle paths including the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail ...... www.facebook.com/CLSRT/ and here in the lakes region ...... the www.wowtrail.org.
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Old 12-15-2019, 07:33 AM   #274
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With a little bit of thought I’m sure NH can come up with another financing option to shift the burden onto out-of-staters. They are good at that. Maybe they could use a portion of the 66% increase in my property taxes.


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Old 12-15-2019, 08:10 AM   #275
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As I understand it, Class 2 NH roads are the very common, numbered local roads that go all over the state, and are not the limited access interstate highways like Route 93. Locally, NH Routes 3-11-25-28-49-104-109-113-132-153-171-175 and others are all class 2 roads.

So, your bicycle exclusion suggestion would basically ban bicycles from pedaling the 97-mile circle loop http://www.winnipesaukee.net/lakes-r...ound-the-lake/ around Lake Winnipesaukee.

What I suggest is raising the gasoline tax by ten cents/gallon as a serious effective way to pay for maintaining and improving the NH road system which includes both Route 93, Class 2 roads, and rail/trail bicycle paths including the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail ...... www.facebook.com/CLSRT/ and here in the lakes region ...... the www.wowtrail.org.
That's right ban bicycles on all roads where the speed limit is over 30 MPH and there is no shoulder to ride on. It's all about safety and "for the seniors and children". How many more must die?

Every bicycle in the state should be registered if not ridden on it's owner's property just like OHRV's and a $200 trail development and maintenance fee assessed per bike is a good starting point. Probably enough to at least hire all the hack state workers to oversee the program and pay them a six figure salary as minimum wage simply won't do.

When is the state finally going to slap registration fees on anything that floats? I think a good $100 flat fee per vessel would be prefect.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:31 AM   #276
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$200.00 per bike and children will never leave their yards.
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