Courtesy of NHDOT

SNHUdents who have lived on the west side of campus know about the train tracks running along the Merrimack River. However, most do not know that those train tracks run far up north and south. It’s called the New Hampshire Main Line, and it runs 50 miles from Lowell, MA to Concord, NH. It connects the three largest cities in New Hampshire: Manchester, Nashua, and Concord, respectively.

If a passenger rail was implemented between all of these cities, it would enable travel by train for more than 250,000 New Hampshire residents (American Community Survey, 2022). For SNHU, this means commuters could access campus without having to drive.

The possibility of intercity rail travel might not be distant; a project is underway called the Capital Corridor, a collaboration between NHDOT and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) to extend the commuter rail service from Lowell to Manchester. It would use 9 miles of MBTA’s existing track and 21 miles of NH Main Line track, currently owned by Pan Am railways. Along with train service would come four new commuter rail stations: South Nashua, NH (Pheasant Lane Mall), Downtown Nashua (Crown St, off of E Hollis St), Bedford, NH/MHT Station (South River Rd, under the Airport Access Road) and Downtown Manchester, NH (off of Elm St, next to Market Basket).

Rendering of the proposed Bedford/MHT Station
Courtesy of NHDOT
Map of the proposed Capital Rail Corridor, as well as the existing Lowell Commuter Rail Line.
Courtesy of NHDOT & MBTA










According to the National Transportation Research Group, a nonprofit research organization, fatal car accidents in NH rose 47% from 2019 to 2022. In total, 471 people died as a result of a car accident between 2019 and 2022.

Nationally, 117 people died every day due to car accidents in 2022. Compared to trains, only 12 people died as a result of accidents in 2022 (including cargo and passenger rail). This would make it 99.97% safer to travel by train instead of a car.

While the Capital Rail Corridor project doesn’t include SNHU, it could as a result of the extension. When the project is completed, the Downtown Manchester station will be approximately 11 minutes away from SNHU (as well as accessible via Manchester Transit Authority).