News Brief

SmileYou can now donate to TrainRiders/NE by enrolling in the SMILE program at Amazon. For every eligible purchase you make, we'll receive .05% of your purchase price. Go here for more information and after signing up, search for "trainriders northeast" and select it as your preferred non-profit. It costs you nothing but will benefit New England's premier passenger rail advocacy organization. We thank you for your support.

January, 2016 NNEPRA Board Meeting

1-16-Performance-StatsIncluded in this article is the performance section of today's NNEPRA Board Meeting. It details the return to more normal operations during the first half of FY2016.

NNEPRA Board Meeting - January, 2015

Performance Report:

fy15nov

The numbers speak for themselves - a downer for the Downeaster. The Downeaster transported fewer passengers in November of 2014 than in November of 2013. 

FYTD 2015 is running behind in ridership when compared to FYTD 2014, but revenue is up slightly (Wayne Davis told the board that on one recent weekend evening, there were 45 passengers waiting to get on the southbound train in Brunswick!).

Public Hearing on BLF Permit Scheduled

The Maine DEP has scheduled a public hearing on the Storm Water Runoff Permit for the evening of March 25th in Brunswick (location TBA). That permit is required by NNEPRA in order to proceed with construction of the Brunswick Layover Facility.

TrainRiders/NE is an 'intervenor' in the process which grants us the right to present expert evidence as well as cross-examine others who testify. All testimony is given under oath. The Brunswick neighborhood group is also an 'intervenor'. The Town of Brunswick is an 'interested municipal agency'.

A 'hearing officer' will moderate the session and file an assessment with the Commissioner of the DEP, Patricia Aho, who will make the final decision.

Legislative Alert : L.D. 28 - A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

legislatureJust when things are going so well for our greatest accomplishment, Amtrak’s Downeaster service; along comes L.D. 28, “An Act to Reduce Air Pollution from Trains”. This whacky bill has just been introduced into the Maine Legislature. No matter what metaphor you may use, wolf in sheep’s clothing, or Trojan horse, this bill is dangerous and misleading.

January, 2013 NNEPRA Board Meeting

statsnov12

The performance statistics continue to pile up and today's board meeting heard more evidence of the impressive sustained growth of the Downeaster - double-digit growth in ridership and revenue for the month of November.

NNEPRA Board Meeting - January, 2012

The January Board Meeting reported on the first two quarters of Fiscal Year 2012 - Executive Director Patricia Quinn characterized the service as "healthy & strong."

chart

Effort to Repeal the New Hampshire Transit Authority

The following URGENT message from TRN board member Bob Hall in Exeter concerns us all. To our NH members: Please attend this hearing, if at all possible.

Tuesday (tomorrow) at 1 PM a bill will be heard at the Legislative Office Building in Concord to Repeal the New Hampshire Transit Authority. This is another attempt to place passenger rail on the back burner in New Hampshire.  

New Hampshire was fortunate enough to receive a federal grant to study passenger rail between Boston and Concord serving Nashua, Merrimack, Manchester and Concord.  Now this is an attempt to end the agency that would continue to push to see rail passenger service return to the Merrimack Valley.

Trainriders/Northeast stands firmly behind the efforts of New Hampshire Transit Authority. We support those in New Hampshire that want to see rail passenger service available across New Hampshire not just along the Downeaster line and Claremont.  Please turn out and support the New Hampshire Transit Authority and keep rail passenger service in New Hampshire's future.

Bob Hall - Board Member, Trainriders/Northeast
Member, New Hampshire Transit Authority
Chair, Exeter Station Committee

Exeter Meeting Provides Economic Development Overview for Train Station Area

Interested citizens met Wednesday night in Exeter to examine conceptual plans leading to the development of the Downeaster station neighborhood.

From TRN board member Don Briselden, "It was a well-attended, positive meeting with good continuing support expressed. Lot's of enthusiasm.

It was also an opportunity for Bob Hall (also on the TRN board) and I to highlight the station improvements which will be up for voter's approval in March."

The full story can be read here.

Proposed GOP Spending Cuts Would Essentially Eliminate Amtrak

Federal transportation funding would take a hit under the "Spending Reduction Act" being proposed Thursday afternoon by some conservative House Republicans.
The legislation calls for eliminating the $1.5 billion annual subsidy for Amtrak, which is tantamount to shutting down the national passenger rail service, and $2.5 billion in high-speed rail grants.
The plan from the Republican Study Committee, which represents 165 members, would cut $2.5 trillion from the federal budget over the next 10 years. According to the Washington Post, that would be achieved primarily by cutting non-defense spending to 2006 levels and firing 15 percent of federal workers.
Below is a graph which shows how little the federal government has invested in intercity passenger rail over the years. The green area is hard to find.
federal-transportation-spen
{jcomments on}

NNEPRA Board Meeting - January, 2011

The NNEPRA Board Meeting heard continuing positive reports on Downeaster performance as presented by Patricia Quinn, Executive Director.

Peformance Statistics:

  • nnepra111Ridership for Nov, 2010 - 40,434 as compared to 37,379 in Nov, 2009
  • Ridership for Dec, 2010 - 40,906 as compared to 35,201 in Dec, 2009
  • Ridership for last six months of 2010 - 260,068 which exceeds the total ridership of 2004!
  • Ridership FYTD is 6% ahead of previous FY.
  • On Time Performance for Nov, 2010 = 85.14%
  • Overall Customer Satisfaction for Oct, 2010 = 93%, Amtrak system-wide = 81%

Brunswick Expansion:

  • nutLayover facility being explored for Brunswick, instead of Portland, which would improve frequency and reliability.
  • Work on Brunswick extension continues, weather permitting - 22 miles of CWR in place with 5 miles remaining
  • Total FRA contribution to extension will be $38.3 million (includes additional $3.3 million granted in December from the FRA)
  • FRA approved the waiver for use of foreign-produced joiner nuts

Stimulus Money Bypasses New Hampshire - Why?

{jcomments on}New Hampshire’s request for $1.4 million to jump start a Concord-Nashua-Boston commuter rail system was not approved by the White House.

An article on the decision is in the Nashua Telegraph.

Federal Money Granted to Extend Service to Brunswick

The White House has announced that the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority will be receiving $35 million in stimulus funding for the extension to Brunswick.

Excerpt from the White House press release: "Boston – Portland – Brunswick: Over 30 miles of track will be restored, including 36 grade crossings, to extend new passenger rail service from Portland to Brunswick, ME."

TrainRiders/Northeast, NNEPRA and federal, state and local officials celebrated the grant at the new Brunswick train station.

NNEPRA Board Meeting - January, '10

{jcomments on}

Portland Meeting

Ms. Patricia Quinn, NNEPRA's Executive Director, delivered the Downeaster's Performance Report for the first half of FY2010.