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  • AMImage4Registration begins at 11:00 am
  • Meeting opens at 12:30 noon
  • Adjournment at 3:30 pm
  • Portland BusTour following the meeting
      30th Annual TR/NE Meeting
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30th Annual Meeting of TrainRiders/Northeast

On Friday, December 14th, TrainRiders/NE celebrated its 30th year of grassroots advocacy on behalf of passenger rail in the Northeast. Our pride and joy, the Amtrak Downeaster, marked its 17th year of serving Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. 

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Gene DavidOur Keynote Speaker was Eugene (Gene) Skoropowski, Senior Passenger Rail Consultant, TY Lin International, whose 40 years of railroading experience brought Florida's privately-funded passenger rail service to fruition. Gene congratulated TRNE's Wayne Davis for his dogged pursuit of passenger rail in the Northeast and congratulated NNEPRA's Patricia Quinn for being selected by Railway Age as one of railroading's leading women in 2018. It was also a time for leaders in the industry to catch up on important issues as witnessed by an earnest conversation between Gene and Maine DOT Commissioner David Bernhardt. Commissioner Bernhardt gave an impressive overview of Maine's expanding commitment to improving freight rail service in Northern Maine.

NNEPRA Executive Director Patricia Quinn provided us with the Downeaster's record-breaking numbers in Fiscal Year 2018. She mentioned her continued interest in expanding Downeaster service beyond Brunswick to Rockland and listed service to New York City as another opportunity under review. The NYC proposal was brought to the NNEPRA board by Wayne Davis. It's always a delight to see Patricia and her devoted staff celebrate the Downeaster's accomplishments.

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We were honored to have Senator Angus King drop by our meeting. He and Representative Chellie Pingree (on video) congratulated Wayne Davis and Patricia Quinn on their extraordinarily successful partnership.

This year's video presentation examined three areas: the success of the Dome Car and its uncertain future; the various projects NNEPRA and PanAm are pursuing; and the unique Tax Rebate Program for senior volunteers at the Saco Train Station. This can be a template for the staffing of Amtrak stations in other small towns and cities.

Mariah Morales, of Amtrak's Government Affairs team, briefed us on Amtrak's relationships with coalitions, trade associations and advocacy groups.

PanAm Railways Vice President Cynthia Scarano commented on the excellent relationship between the freight railroad and NNEPRA. 

 In conclusion, Wayne noted that much had been accomplished, but more opportunities lie ahead.

TrainRiders/NE Board Elects First Executive Director

PRESS RELEASE: TrainRiders Northeast, the non-profit, volunteer, rail advocacy organization founded in 1989 announced today that it has hired its first ever Executive Director, George O’Keefe, Jr., of Winthrop.  O’Keefe is currently a Master’s Degree candidate in the Policy, Planning, and Management Program, with a concentration in Organizational Leadership and Management, at the Muskie School of Public Service.

O’Keefe will work alongside TrainRiders’ longtime Chairman and co-founder Wayne E. Davis to help the organization expand its mission of bringing “modern and efficient” passenger rail service to the Northeast. “A balanced transportation system is what we need in order to provide for sustainable economic opportunities that will last for generations,” said O’Keefe. 

Read more: TrainRiders/NE Board Elects First Executive Director

TrainRiders/NE Hosts Visit the Amtrak Dispatch Center in Boston

You might call it a "busman's holiday" as a large group of Train Hosts traveled on the Downeaster to the Amtrak Dispatch Center at South Station in Boston. As part of their "learning experience," they used public transportation to travel from North Station to South Station, received a full briefing from Amtrak officials at the center (more than 700 trains are dispatched the center daily!) and enjoyed a relaxing lunch at Fanuiel Hall.

Chairman Wayne Davis put together this group with the support of Amtrak Portland Manager Steve Corcoran and NNEPRA Director of Customer Services Brian Beeler, II.

The video, narrated by Wayne, shows the all-day adventure.

The purpose of the TrainRiders Host Program is to have volunteers serve as goodwill ambassadors; to promote patronage of the Downeaster; to assist passengers with information onboard the train, along the route and at scheduled stops; to assist train crews in duties as requested by them, and to promote rail safety. This all-volunteer group of men and women enhances the Downeaster experience for the riding public.

Yes, you'll get to ride FREE to and from Boston while on duty. What's not to like about that?

Learn more about the program by going here.

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