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Train Station Rededicated

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
October 1, 2008

Durham Station

President Mark Huddleston and vice president of Finance and Administration Dick Cannon, who is also head of UNH’s Transportation Policy Committee, greeted passengers getting off Amtrak’s Downeaster yesterday shortly before a ceremony heralding UNH’s renovated train station.

“This is an asset to the university and to the broader community,” Huddleston said of the $940,000 project that added a ticket kiosk, restrooms and a new indoor waiting area to the 1895 station. “And it shows we are living up to our commitment to being a sustainable institution.”

Ridership on the Downeaster, which travels as far south as Boston and as far north as Portland, making stops along the way, will exceed 60,000 this year. Huddleston noted that, for many students, Amtrak train is their first exposure to mass transit.

Addressing a crowd that included state and local officials, Cannon said UNH’s ready access to rail and bus service makes the campus more desirable. He also noted future expansion plans call for expanding service to UNH Manchester and regional airports.

UNH student body president John Banks said the train station provides an added appeal to students considering UNH. He also noted that students are interested in efficient and clean transportation and alternative transportation helps keep cars off the road and reduce emissions. Funding for the renovation came from the Federal Highway Administration-USDOT and UNH. The project began in 2007. The Dairy Bar was also part of the renovation project.

President Mark Huddleston and VP of Finance and Administration Dick Cannon greet Downeaster passengers as they arrive at the UNH train station yesterday.
President Mark Huddleston and VP of Finance and Administration Dick Cannon greet Downeaster passengers as they arrive at the UNH train station yesterday.

The station house moved to Durham from Lynn, Mass., in 1896. It served UNH and Durham until the late 1960s, when B&M passenger service discontinued. The Dairy Bar restaurant opened in 1970.

Rail service returned to Durham in 2001. Ridership has since grown an average 20 percent each year out of Durham.

Steve Pesci, of Campus Planning who has overseen the train station renovation project, and UNH student body president John Banks, listen to speakers during the dedication ceremony held Tuesday.
Steve Pesci, of Campus Planning who has overseen the train station renovation project, and UNH student body president John Banks, listen to speakers during the dedication ceremony held Tuesday.

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