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.


The railroad program includes track inspection and safety investigation in cooperation with the Federal Railroad Administration, a revolving loan program for railroads, a dedicated railroad fund for improvements to state-owned rail lines, and acquisition and preservation of railroad corridors for future use. 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 ResourcesBureau 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's Property Management team at RailroadProperty@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.

Public Transportation

The public transportation program provides many benefits to New Hampshire residents and visitors, including mobility for those who cannot or prefer not to drive, and an alternative that can relieve traffic congestion and reduce emission of pollutants from motor vehicles. There are 12 local bus systems in New Hampshire, intercity service that connects New Hampshire communities to the larger region, and specialized services for seniors and individuals with disabilities. Intercity bus routes provide a lifeline for rural areas and an alternative to congested highways for Boston-bound commuters.

The public transportation program includes federal grants for transit operations, capital improvements, planning, technical assistance and training.

Bureau of Rail and Transit Contacts