In 2016, we learned that Pan Am Railways was abandoning a 6.36-mile long railroad corridor in Boscawen and Concord. It goes from the southern end of the Northern Rail Trail in Boscawen to Commercial Street in Concord. From Commercial Street, it's just a hop, skip and a jump to Downtown Concord and the State House and all the shops on the new, improved, bike friendly Main Street.
We have a tremendous opportunity to convert a 6.36-mile stretch of abandoned railroad property into a trail that could be used for both transportation and recreation. It is rare to have this opportunity. In fact, this is only the fourth such opportunity since 2001 and the first since 2008. If the State of New Hampshire does not act, the land could be bought by abutters and broken up into small parcels. Like it says in the statewide Rail Plan, “Rail corridors are difficult to replicate once they are abandoned and disassembled through sale or reversion back to adjacent land owners.
We have initiated a petition to show the support of the community for this key stretch of the Merrimack River Greenway Trail. You can help us make a difference by showing your support for the development of this rail trail. The evidence is clear that bike and walking trails promote better communities for families, visitors and business. This section would link to the Northern Rail Trail and bring the trail to the very doorstep of downtown Concord!
You can help make this happen! Click here to view and sign the petition.
Here is a copy of the current petition with over 1,700 Signatures and 450+ comments.
How to build a rail trail
1. Start with this:
-- An abandoned railroad
-- Once the symbol of economic strength.
2. Add this:
-- Political interest
3. Get this:
-- A community amenity that draws people like a magnet!
-- Now the symbol of high quality of life!
Pan Am bridge over the Contoocook River in Concord
Scene from the abandoned Pan Am railbed (Concord)
Panoramic scene from the abandoned Pan Am railbed (Concord)