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Press Release

For Immediate Release
September 4, 2013

Contact:
Communications Office
(603)271-2121

Governor Hassan Applauds TIGER Grant Award for the New Hampshire Northcoast Railroad

CONCORD - Governor Maggie Hassan released the following statement today praising the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) announcement that a $1.4 million Transportation Investment Generating Economy Recovery (TIGER) will be awarded to upgrade and repair 42 miles of main-line rail between Rochester and Ossipee on the New Hampshire Northcoast Railroad:

"New Hampshire Northcoast Railroad from Rochester to Ossipee is an important economic link for Strafford and Carroll counties, connecting the region to the national freight network. Funds from the TIGER grant will help support critical repairs and upgrades in order to increase the weight limit of rail-car shipments and the speeds that trains can travel, as well as to improve safety and reliability. These improvements will assist in our efforts to support growing businesses, attract new industry to the region and help build the foundation for a stronger, more innovative New Hampshire.

"I want to thank Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte and Congresswomen Ann McLane Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter for their support, as well as the New Hampshire Department of Transportation for their successful efforts in applying for this important TIGER grant."

In May, Governor Hassan wrote a letter of support for the competitive TIGER grant application to then-DOT Secretary Ray LaHood.

Full text of the Governor’s letter is below:

May 30, 2013

Secretary Raymond H. LaHood United States Department of Transportation 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE Washington, DC 20590

Re: Rochester-Ossipee Rail Line Upgrades and Repairs

Dear Secretary LaHood:

I write in support of the Transportation Investment Generating Economy Recovery (TIGER) V grant application submitted by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) for the upgrade and repair of 42 miles of main-line rail between Rochester and Ossipee, New Hampshire in Strafford and Carroll counties.

Owned and operated by the New Hampshire Northcoast Railroad, this short-line freight railroad provides service through the southeastern and central regions of New Hampshire. Serving as an important link for an economically distressed area of our state, this line connects the region to the national freight rail network with a connection to Boston at its southern portion. Industrial sector companies depend on services from this railroad, but are negatively impacted by low weight limits that cause additional shipments and deter suppliers from using the line.

Funds from this grant will help support repairs and upgrades to this 42-mile section that will allow North America’s standard 286,000-lb. rail-car shipments to travel the full length of the corridor, increase the speeds that trains can travel, and improve safety and reliability. The higher weight limit will directly impact existing customers and greatly assist our efforts to bring new industry to the region, and a TIGER V grant will help complete a multi-year, public-private effort between a private railroad company, the State of New Hampshire, the regional planning commission and local communities.

Thank you for your consideration of NHDOT’s TIGER V grant application for the New Hampshire Northcoast Railroad project.

With every good wish,

Margaret Wood Hassan
Governor