News Brief

NNEPRA reports May ridership missed FY2017 target by 5%, due to loss of approximately 2,500 riders because of weekend curtailments and heat restrictions. May ridership was only 261 passengers below May of last year. FY2017 YTD ridership is 9% ahead of target. When the June numbers come in, FY2017 promises to be a very successful year. 

DE-PlanNNEPRA held a public meeting on Wednesday (March 19th) to discuss the Amtrak Downeaster Service Development Plan. It was a well-attended public forum that focused on extending Downeaster service to Lewiston-Auburn, Augusta and beyond New England to New York City.

TrainRiders/Northeast spoke in support of multiple extensions, particularly an effort to connect Maine through Worcester to Penn Station in New York, where a whole new market for travel to and from Maine awaits.

Patricia Quinn, Executive Director of NNEPRA, answered the many questions regarding currently needed improvements (double tracking, speed and frequency of service) as well as new feeder services to the Brunswick-Boston core of the current Downeaster.

Here is Trainriders/NE's summary comments passed out at the forum.

Here is Tom Bell's reporting on the session in today's Portland Press Herald.