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
Proposed Downeaster Rockland Extension Not Happening This Summer
- Created: 10 June 2019 10 June 2019
From the Portland Press Herald:
"Midcoast passenger rail shelved for 2nd season
We are very disappointed, but still believe this is a great opportunity and will continue to actively pursue it,” Quinn said in her email.
Quinn said that despite efforts of the rail authority, it was simply not possible to begin seasonal passenger service this summer.
“There are many regulatory requirements which need to get settled, and although progress continues to be made, there simply is not enough time to qualify crews and do the other work necessary to commence service in time for the summer season,” the executive director stated in her message.
The Rail Authority had to reach an agreement both with Amtrak, which operates the passenger service, and with Central Maine and Quebec Railway, which leases the 58-mile Brunswick-to-Rockland line for moving freight.
The lack of a safety assessment of the tracks was the reason given last year when a proposed pilot project failed to move ahead."
NNEPRA's Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon
- Created: 21 May 2019 21 May 2019
"This is a 143-mile long community that the Downeaster knits together," said NNEPRA Executive Director Patricia Quinn at this year's Ambassador's Appreciation Luncheon in Portland.
More than one hundred station volunteers, train hosts (A program of TrainRiders/NE) and municipal officials accepted NNEPRA's invitation to celebrate their participation in supporting "America's Favorite Train." Where else can folks from three separate states work as one?
Rail Townhall in Manchester
- Created: 13 May 2019 13 May 2019
A Rail Townhall was held recently in Manchester, NH, attracting Democratic candidate for president Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
Years of work attempting to develop a rail plan to ultimately Concord, Manchester and Nashua with Boston's North Station have been frustrating, to say the least.
The challenges and opportunities of bringing passenger rail service to these population centers are detailed in this article in the ManchesterInklink.
Coastal NH is already served by the Amtrak Downeaster as it carries more than 200,000 passengers from Dover, Durham and Exeter annually. Here's a recent article on the joys of commuting on the Downeaster from Exeter to Boston: https://manchesterinklink.com/ticket-to-ride-whats-it-like-to-commute-to-boston-on-the-downeaster/
Portland Station Relocation Project
- Created: 12 April 2019 12 April 2019
NNEPRA is exploring relocating its Portland station to the mainline from its current Mountain Branch site. Executive Director Patricia Quinn briefed the TrainRiders/NE Board on this goal.
The Project Highlights from NNEPRA's Information Briefing Paper:
Relocating the station to the mainline would eliminate stop and reverse moves currently required for trains traveling between Portland, Freeport and Brunswick.
Sets the stage for increased passenger rail service and improved intermodal transit connectivity to and within the greater Portland region.
NNEPRA February, 2019 Board Meeting
- Created: 25 February 2019 25 February 2019
The NNEPRA Board welcomed a new member, recently sworn in DOT Commissioner Bruce Van Note. Commissioner Van Note had previously served on the DOT for 27 years and before being nominated, was Director of Policy and Planning for the Maine Turnpike Authority.
Ridership: The Downeaster Performance Report was discussed. FY 2019 to date (through January) shows a 3% variance in ridership (Target 320,844, Actual 318,689).