Quick Note: Train Host Program

signalTrainRiders/NE Train Hosts serve as goodwill ambassadors onboard the Downeaster to assist passengers with information; assist train crews in duties as requested by them; and promote rail safety.

As a volunteer, you'll travel between Maine and Boston conversing with passengers along the way.

Click on "Host Program" in the above menu for more information.

fy2014sq

The Downeaster's performance continues on track as Executive Director Patricia Quinn reported on the second quarter of FY2014. Overall, when combined with the first quarter, ridership was up 5% and revenue grew by 7% over FY2013 to date.

On Time Performance remains troubling, due in large part to commuter and freight train delays.

The Downeaster's Overall Customer Satisfaction Score in December was 96%! When you take into account the delays which have affected 25% of the trains, the CSI score demonstrates that a welcoming and professional crew can keep riders satisfied even when they don't arrive on time.

Washington recently approved an "indefinite" extension of CMAQ funds for the use by state-sponsored railroads for operations (originally, the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds were to be only used for three years in startup transportation projects). 80% of the Downeaster's operating budget comes from CMAQ funding.

The FRA determination of the proposed Overnight Facility in Brunswick remains "in process," according to Ms. Quinn. Several comments were made regarding the necessity of such a facility, particularly in the winter when heavy snow and ice buildup causes overwhelming challenges to the maintenance and train crews. Steve Corcoran, Downeaster Amtrak Manager, reported that on two occasions they found the trains FROZEN to the tracks!

The board approved new Strategic Goals for 2014. They are:

  • Strengthen and maximize the efficiency of the existing core Downeaster Service (Brunswick to Boston)
  • Facilitate the development and operation of feeder services which enhance Downeaster efficiency

           *Lewiston/Auburn
           *Mid-coast Maine (Wiscasset/Rockland)
           *Augusta
           *Gorham/Standish

  • Work with stakeholders to support the development of a new multi-modal transportation center on Thompson's Point in Portland.
  • Explore the feasibility of developing new passenger rail services or service to additional communities as appropriate
          *Montreal
          *Worcester/New York City
 
NNEPRA will determine the feasibility of any new project under consideration or development using the following criteria:
  • The level of enhancement it provides to core or existing service (s) and verification that it is not detrimental to core or existing service(s) in any way.
  • Transportation benefit provided
  • Consistency with State and/or regional Rail Plans
  • Demonstration of positive economic return and public benefit
  • Financial sustainability