State rail study clears House

CONCORD – The House of Representatives endorsed studying whether the state should purchase remaining railroad corridors.

Lawyers for the private rail line owner – Pan Am Railways – had warned the study could chill ongoing talks with the state over extending commuter service.

The bill heads to the State Senate.

Gov. John Lynch last year signed the law that set a $75 million cap on commuter rail accident damages.

Pan Am Railway officials continue to assert they should be exempt from accident damage costs except in cases that the owner is guilty of gross negligence.

– Kevin Landrigan