Our New Vision
TrainRiders Northeast brought the Downeaster to Portland, ME in 2001 and Brunswick ME in 2012. Our New Vision: An across the platform, Amtrak connection at Boston’s North Station, serving Worcester, Springfield, Hartford, New Haven & New York’s Penn Station. Our continued success depends on your donation. Use our PayPal button to help us reach this goal. Many thanks for your continued support. Wayne Davis, Chairman
29th TrainRiders/NE Annual Meeting
- Created: 17 November 2017 17 November 2017
Our Annual Meeting was held at the Holiday Inn By The Bay in Portland on December 15th, 2017. We heard presentations from NNEPRA Executive Director Patricia Quinn (The Downeaster continues to grow in ridership and revenue.), MDOT Commissioner David Bernhardt (Maine is forging new alliances with rail companies and states.), President David Fink of PanAm Railroad (We are committed to supporting on-time Downeaster service.), Gene Skoropowski, Former Sr. VP of All Aboard Florida (Florida's first privately-funded passenger rail service will begin operation this month), Chairman Wayne Davis and Executive Director George O'Keefe.
Ms. Quinn regularly updates our membership on the Downeaster 'numbers.' They were impressive and her presentation can be seen here.
Gene Skoropowski proudly presented an overview of Floridays private passenger rail system now coming online - Brightline. You can view his presentation here.
In this year's video, the city manager of Bath, town managers of Wiscasset, Newcastle, Damariscotta and the executive director of Rockland Main Street spoke of what the proposed seasonal weekend service from Brunswick to Rockland would mean to their communities and the travelers on board the Downeaster.
Adjournment was at 3:30 pm. Many of those in attendance then boarded the Downeaster (on us) for a trip to Freeport to see L.L. Bean's spectacular Christmas display and program. Afterwards, they took the 5:25 pm in Freeport and continued on to points south. It was a train-friendly event.
UPDATE: NNEPRA Proposes Summer Weekend Rockland Service from May through October!
- Created: 24 October 2017 24 October 2017
Annual Meetings are always important because the NNEPRA staff summarizes FY2017 Downeaster performance and future goals. The fiscal year ended with 511,422 riders (8% over FY2016), revenue of $8,620,119 (a new record) and passenger miles of 40,742,792 (7% over FY2016)!
One announcement at this year's meeting took many by surprise as proposed Downeaster service to Rockland was unveiled. That means that starting as early as next May, after analysis of the route and public meetings, riders boarding the Downeaster in Boston would be able to add Bath, Wiscasset, Newcastle or Rockland to their weekend tickets. The seasonal service would end in October.
UPDATE: At NNEPRA's November Board Meeting, the board approved the expenditure of funds by Executive Director Patricia Quinn to proceed with route analysis using an Amtrak train/crew as well as utilizing the Geometry Car to determine the quality of the tracks. It is hoped that at the late January board meeting, a decision as to whether to proceed with the proposed service can be made.
There was universal approval of the decision by those present. As one attendee said, "Make it happen!"
We interviewed NNEPRA Chairman John Melrose and TrainRiders/NE Chairman Wayne Davis about the decision.
The Annual Report, which was passed out at the meeting, is filled with interesting statistics and eye-catching graphics. It can be read here.
Interested in commenting? Go to our Facebook page.
NNEPRA September, 2017, Board Meeting
- Created: 26 September 2017 26 September 2017
The NNEPRA Board held their regular monthly meeting today with Executive Director Patricia Quinn reporting results for July and August.
Local Reporter Rides the Dome Car
- Created: 01 September 2017 01 September 2017
Reporter Donna Buttarazzi of the York County Coast Star boarded the Dome Car this past week in Wells to sample ridership opinion and experience the ride herself. In addition, she met TRN's Wayne Davis as he was briefing the riders on the car's history.
Her written article can be viewed here.http://www.seacoastonline.com/YorkStar
The car has two levels - below is cafe service and above is the best view on the rails. The pleasure has been increased at no additional cost.
It is associated with specific trains. Catch one before it heads off to the Adirondack service after September 24th.
Monday-Friday trains: #682, #683, #688 & #689
Saturday trains: #692, #693, #696 & #697
Sunday trains: #690, #691, #698 & #699
Fascinating facts regarding the history of the Dome Car can be read here
NNEPRA Board Meeting in Saco - A Growing Community
- Created: 02 August 2017 02 August 2017
The NNEPRA Board of Directors boarded the Downeaster in Portland for the short ride to Saco for their July meeting.
The FY2017 numbers were confirmed: 511,422 riders (9% above forecast) and $8,620,119 in Revenue (7% above target). Executive Director Patricia Quinn noted that June ridership numbers (45,889) were a record for that month. FY2018 started out with a record-breaking July (firm numbers to come). As Ms. Quinn summarized it, ridership has been "phenomenal!"
The Downeaster's Overall Customer Satisfaction numbers exceeded the Amtrak figures by six points in May (90 vs. 84).
The fly in the ointment continues to be On Time Performance with June showing only 70%. Continuing projects on the MBTA line is the main culprit.
Saco City Manager, Kevin Sutherland, briefed the board and public about the city's recent economic growth, which is attributed in large part to the Downeaster service. Following the board meeting, he conducted a tour of Mill Building #4 (opposite the train station) and other areas of the city's growth.
TrainRiders/NE produced a video on the tour with the support of Maine HDTV.