Rail & Transit

Welcome to the Bureau of Rail & Transit!

The Bureau of Rail & Transit manages state-owned railroad properties, provides rail safety inspections, and manages public transportation programs.

There are approximately 443 miles of active railroad in New Hampshire. The state is the largest railroad owner with over 200 miles of active line, purchased to preserve freight service to industry or promote tourism and economic development. Eight (8) freight railroads operate in the state, and freight volumes are keeping pace with national trends. The short line and regional railroads that operate in New Hampshire provide an economical alternative to shippers, especially for heavy bulk commodities. One railroad car equals 3-4 truckloads; this can help relieve highway congestion and wear and tear on the roadways.

Passenger rail service in New Hampshire is provided by the Amtrak Downeaster (Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority), with stops in Dover, Durham, and Exeter, and the Vermonter, with a stop at Claremont Junction as well as Vermont communities in the Connecticut Valley.

Tourist excursion railroads also make an important contribution to the state's rail infrastructure, keeping the state-owned railroad lines open and maintained and playing a key role in the tourism industry.

The State also owns approximately 330 miles of abandoned railroad corridors, purchased to preserve them for future transportation use. Most of these are used as recreation trails under the management of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Bureau of Trails.

Information on the State's management of its railroad properties is available for landowners, surveyors and others conducting research on railroad properties. Contact the Bureau at Bureau66@dot.nh.gov to receive information on available electronic maps of the railroad corridors or information on the procedures for crossings, leases or other property management questions.

The Bureau's Links include railroad companies and organizations that can provide more information on railroads. Documents available on our site include State Rail Map and the 2012 State Rail Plan, and well as other studies.