Following Decades of Decline, Granite State Once Again Looks to Freight Rail
Rail service in New Hampshire has shrunk considerably in recent decades, but the state is looking to partner with remaining Granite State railroads to rebuild. To boost existing businesses and attract new economic development, the New Hampshire State Rail Plan identifies a series of steps like upgrading track to safely carry heavier railcars, raising tunnel clearances to accommodate double-stack intermodal service, and other measures to modernize the state’s rail network.
New Hampshire’s seven freight railroads operate over 489 miles of track and employ 242 in the Granite State.* It would have taken approximately 300,000 additional truckloads to move the 5.8 million tons of freight that moved by rail in New Hampshire in 2014. Waste and scrap materials make up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in New Hampshire. Coal and petroleum are the largest rail imports to the state.