Time for our Annual Meeting - this year we're celebrating 30 years of grassroots advocacy on behalf of passenger rail in the Northeast. Our pride and joy, the Amtrak Downeaster, will be marking its 17th year of serving Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
It will be held at the Holiday Inn By the Bay in downtown Portland on Friday, December 14th, 2018. Those wishing accommodations at the Holiday Inn should call Marketing Director Sally Page for a special low rate (207-775-2311, Ext 2141).
Registration begins at 11:00 a.m. (both north and southbound trains arrive in Portland before 11:30 a.m.). The meeting opens at 12:30 p.m. and concludes at 3:30 p.m. If you come by train, you'll be bussed to the hotel in time of the buffet luncheon.
Our Keynote Speaker will be Eugene (Gene) Skoropowski, Senior Passenger Rail Consultant, TY Lin International, whose 40 years of railroading experience brought Florida's first privately-funded passenger rail service to fruition. Gene was responsible for establishing Brightline as an operating railroad in Florida, developing the service plan (train operations), selecting the rolling stock (trainsets), designing of the rolling stock maintenance facilities, hiring and training of operating crews (engineers & conductors), projecting operating costs and revenues and preparing the company’s passenger rail operations program. Gene is a long-time friend of TrainRiders/NE and we welcome his insight into the current state of passenger rail in America.
Both Maine Senator Susan Collins and Stephen Gardner, Executive Vice President of Amtrak, are unable to appear because of conflicting commitments.
NNEPRA Executive Director Patricia Quinn will provide us with the Downeaster's impressive record-breaking numbers from Fiscal Year 2018.
Mariah Morales, of Amtrak's Government Affairs team, will fill us in on Amtrak's relationships with coalitions, trade associations and advocacy groups.
Maine DOT Commissioner David Bernhardt, PanAm Railways President David Fink and Executive VP Cynthia Scarano will be our guests as well.
Following the meeting at 4 p.m., you are invited to board a bus for a tour of Portland's downtown, waterfront and Deering Oaks Park holiday display. We'll return you to the station in time to catch the train south at 6:15 p.m. or the northbound train at 7:30 p.m.
Lest we forget, TrainRiders/NE was responsible for creating the Downeaster in the first place, and we're not finished yet. We're working to expand the rail service to other Maine points. We're planning a connection at North Station to allow us to cross the platform for a train to NEW YORK CITY via Worcester. We've got plenty yet to do in the coming years!
You can make your Annual Meeting luncheon reservation online as well as renew your membership by going here.