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.

April NNEPRA Board Meeting & Brunswick Town Council Session

NNEPRA4-15Downeaster Performance:

It was a busy day for NNERPA Executive Director Patricia Quinn as she dealt with declining ridership and on time performance numbers amid growing train cancellations due to track work and extensive slow orders.

March, 2015 ridership numbers declined from 44,215 last year to 37,318 this year. February saw ridership decline by 6,797 passengers and February OTP was...4.7%. FY2015 has seen some 157 trains cancelled - hard to carry riders when the trains aren't running.

Track Maintenance:

Starting May 4th and lasting for six weeks, mid-day trains on Mondays-Fridays will be cancelled to allow PanAm to complete the installation of some 22,000 ties. Six trains will be running during that period: #680, #682, #685, #687, #688 & #689 - delays are expected. All weekend trains will run as scheduled.  

Brunswick Idling:

Responding to requests from the state Joint Transportation Committee and the Town Council of Brunswick to reduce idling time in Brunswick, NNEPRA is proposing that a temporary 480-volt track-side power unit be installed at the Church Road end of their layover property. It was pointed out that the electrical connection would not halt all idling, as the GE engines regularly monitor themselves and, if necessary, take corrective action - for example, restarting the engine when temperatures go below 45 degrees. The board supported the staff recommendation, but before approving the estimated $60-$80 thousand expenditure, asked for feedback from the Brunswick Town Council.

Patricia Quinn to Appear Monday Evening Before Brunswick Town Council

Notice from All Aboard Brunswick:

Hello, All Aboard Brunswick friends—

We have an update on the layover facility for the Downeaster.

Patricia Quinn, executive director of NNEPRA, will be at the Brunswick Town Council meeting on Monday, April 27, at 7:00 p.m., to present an update on the Downeaster and progress toward constructing the layover facility. We believe her primary topic will be a plug-in power facility in Brunswick that was proposed during the Transportation Committee’s deliberations on L.D. 439, “An Act To Prohibit Excessive Idling of Passenger Trains.”


This temporary solution will not prevent idling in the winter to keep engine fluids at operating temperature or periodic idling year-round to deliver compressed air to the brakes. It also will not cure the problem of overnight idling in Portland by the Downeaster train sets, and it will not enable NNEPRA to increase the number of round-trips between Brunswick and Boston.

It is important for as many AAB supporters as possible to attend the Town Council meeting to show support for the BLF, the Downeaster, and NNEPRA. We understand that members of the Brunswick West Neighborhood Coalition, who oppose the layover facility, will attend as well. If you can join us, that would be great. We’ll have All Aboard Brunswick stickers available if you choose to identify yourself as a supporter of the Downeaster and the Brunswick Layover Facility.

Patricia’s report is early on the agenda, so it won’t be a long night.

On April 24, the court reporter delivered the transcript of the March 25 DEP public hearing. Closing briefs for all interested parties are due on Wednesday, May 6, and we expect a ruling 45 working days after that, or around July 8.

If you are a resident of Brunswick and you can’t make it to the April 27 Town Council meeting, please consider sending a brief email to your Town Councilor expressing your support for the Brunswick Layover Facility, the Downeaster, and NNEPRA. You can find a listing of Brunswick councilors and their addresses at http://www.brunswickme.org/departments/town-council. Be sure to include your street address below your “signature."

Thank you very much,

Emily Boochever
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Trainsportation Committee Tables Anti-Passenger Rail Idling Bill


GerzofskyThe Joint Committee on Transportation in Augusta heard testimony yesterday relating to SP 168 - An Act To Prohibit Excessive Idling of Passenger Trains. It was introduced by Sen. Stan Gerzofsky of Brunswick, who is known as an aggressive opponent of the train and NNEPRA's Executive Director Patricia Quinn. The bill was 'tabled' but could be resuscitated. If passed, it would severely hamper or shut down Amtrak's Downeaster service (as well as Maine Eastern's excursion trains). It reads: