A bill that would reduce the powers of the New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority and strip it of its ability to issue bonds is headed to Gov. John Lynch.

By a veto-proof 16-8 margin, the Senate last week amended a House bill that would have abolished the rail authority, which was created in 2007 to oversee the development of commuter rail in the state. The new version would effectively reduce the organization to a study group.

“We all know there isn’t a rail system that isn’t subsidized, but the New Hampshire Rail Authority refuses to talk about how much this will cost,” said Sherman Packard, R-Londonderry, chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

The House last week endorsed the Senate changes. If enacted, the bill would boost the legislature’s control over extending rail service from Lowell, Mass., through Nashua, N.H., and Concord.

The Obama administration has approved a $4.2 million grant to study the feasibility of bringing commuter rail service from Boston.

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