Memories...TrainRiders/NE Chairman Wayne Davis looks back on
the Downeaster's Year-of-Success. Yes, it was a very good year!
NNEPRA Exec. Dir. Patricia Quinn Concludes, "We're ready to go" with the BLF Once Storm Water Permit is Approved
- Written by TRN Webmaster TRN Webmaster
- Published: 25 August 2014 25 August 2014
Ms. Patricia Quinn, NNEPRA Executive Director, briefed the board on various items, including the Downeaster Brunswick Layover Facility. She reported that she had a 2 1/2 hour meeting with the Maine DEP addressing in particular the storm water permitting process. As a result, the permit has been resubmitted and notification of the abutters has been expanded. This is a 45-day process that allows for public input. The meeting with the DEP addressed several other issues: the water table, air quality and storage of lubricants on the property. None of those issues was considered a problem.
Ms. Quinn met personally with two legislators and talked with a third on the phone regarding their letter suggesting that the layover facility be built in South Portland. She characterized the conversations as productive.
On the issue of idling at the Brunswick Station, Ms. Quinn stated that she was examining a way to reduce the idling time by shifting the current 12:30p arrival to 3:00p. Also, #687 would be shifted to a 6:05p departure from North Station (currently 5:40p) and become the evening train to Brunswick. We were reminded the the BLF is the solution to multiple issues, including this one.
Performance Report - Fiscal Year 2014
From the NNEPRA report: "FY 2014 marked a milestone for the Downeaster, as the 5 million passenger mark was met and exceeded. The year itself was successful with record-breaking ridership exceeding 536,000, which is a 4.6% increase over the previous fiscal year. Increases in ticket revenue were even more significant, exceeding $8.6 million, surpassing the previous year by 6.2%. Customer satisfaction for FY2014 was 93 as compared to Amtrak's overall CS of 86."
July performance reflected the cascading issues of annulled trains and significant delays due mainly to PanAm's continuing tie/ballast/track work. Some 2,000 ties were replaced - in the fall, another 22,000 will be replaced. On Time Performance - 20.10% - reflected the infrastructure problems. While the OTP was miserable, customer satisfaction at 88% exceeded Amtrak overall by 2 points.