N.H. DOT Studies Boston Rail Extension Alternatives

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The state Department of Transportation says it's studying alternatives for a possible extension of the Boston area's commuter rail service and a public hearing on the issue has been scheduled.

The potential Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority service extension would run from Haverhill, Mass., to the Plaistow, N.H, area, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation said.

The study will be conducted in partnership with Plaistow, Atkinson and the Rockingham Planning Commission, the department said. The study will examine alternatives for a train station and layover facility, their impacts and ridership projections, it said.

The department said Thursday it's working with design and planning professionals to identify possible sites, develop design concepts and analyze potential impacts.

The team is led by HDR Engineering, which wants to hear from area residents. A public meeting will be held at Plaistow Town Hall on Aug. 22.

Plaistow officials have been trying to bring commuter rail service from Boston and discussing it with the MBTA for years. They contend extending the commuter line would ease traffic on Route 125, a major route in southern New Hampshire, and would help plug Plaistow and the surrounding areas into metro Boston commerce, education, technology, art and culture.

Residents of Plaistow last year voted down a commuter rail project, but town officials continued looking into the idea.

This program aired on August 2, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.