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
Senate Appropriations Committee Calls for More Public Transparency in Amtrak Funding Bill
- Created: 09 June 2018 09 June 2018
Thursday, the full Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY2019 transportation bill which came out of Senator Collins’ subcommittee. The Committee report accompanying that bill includes the following language:
Improving Communication with Stakeholders The Committee applauds Amtrak’s efforts to make itself financially more sustainable through a business-like approach to its operations. However, the Committee is concerned that the Corporation is failing to communicate adequately with the public prior to making service changes that have significant impacts on its ridership and the communities it serves.
This past year, Amtrak made a series of changes to longstanding policies governing charter trains, special trains, station agents, and private cars. Many of these changes were justified adjustments to services that were costly or interfered with the operation of Amtrak’s regularly scheduled passenger trains. However, the Committee is concerned that Amtrak unveiled these decisions without giving members of the public time to react or register their opinions.
Amtrak Service Nationwide Under Assault by AMTRAK!
- Created: 17 May 2018 17 May 2018
Richard Anderson became president of Amtrak last July, and served as co-chief executive officer with retired railroad president Wick Moorman until last December, when he became the sole occupant of that position as well, serving without a salary. Prior to that, he had served as CEO at Delta Airlines from 2007-2016, when he became executive chairman at that company.
Mr. Anderson’s early messages seemed reasonable and even encouraging, recognizing the need for infrastructure improvements, better equipment, and higher speeds, as well as indicating that privatization of the service would probably not work. Now, however, his actions are causing rumblings among those, such as TrainRiders NE, who want passenger rail service to survive and thrive in this country. His steps include:
- Elimination of discounts for veterans and AAA members.
- Elimination of the Coastal Starlight Parlor cars (and calling for them to be sold as scrap to boot)
- Elimination of in-train tour guides on some western trains
- Elimination of private cars and private charter runs
- Proposed elimination and scrapping of the dome car which has joined the Downeaster for the past two years to much acclaim and popularity
- Elimination, starting on June 1 of dining cars on the Lake Shore Limited between Boston and New York City to Chicago, as well as on the Capitol Limited between Washington, DC and Chicago, leaving sleeping car passengers with “chilled” meals to eat in their compartments, (contemporary cuisine they’re calling it) and coach passengers will have access only to a café car for these overnight trains
Stop, Look & Listen - The Long-Awaited Passenger Information Display System is Up and Running in Saco
- Created: 07 April 2018 07 April 2018
Some projects take longer than expected. When NNEPRA's Passenger Services Manager Brian Beeler joined the state agency, he was given the "opportunity" to shepherd to completion the Passenger Information Display System for the Downeaster stops in Maine. Little did he know that it would require eight years to see it finally implemented. In fact, the effort was already "in progress" prior to his arrival. Constant Amtrak reorganizations, technology improvements and vendor changes caused the project to stretch on for more than a decade.
It's now up and running in Saco. Portland and Wells are next. The Downeaster trains are listed in order of arrival at the local station and any delays are posted as well. A pleasant female voice announces the arrival and final boarding call of the scheduled train, the text of which is seen on the display.
NNEPRA can also program any unanticipated delays into the system so passengers awaiting their trains will no longer be left in the dark.
The Saco station now sounds like Grand Central Station. We welcome this helpful new technology - improving the passengers' experience as they await "America's Favorite Train."
No Amtrak Service to Rockland This Year
- Created: 26 March 2018 26 March 2018
Rockland Extension: At today's NNEPRA Board Meeting in Portland, Executive Director Patricia Quinn informed those present that Amtrak is unable to perform the required risk-assessment of the Rockland branch this year due to the need to assess all their existing routes because of PTC and 'dark territory' issues. Brunswick to Rockland would be a new route.
Ms. Quinn pledged to work closely with Amtrak so that a "more robust" proposal for Midcoast service can be accomplished next year.
Lewiston-Auburn, Kennebunk & New Hamphire - News on Passenger Rail Activities
- Created: 19 March 2018 19 March 2018
There's been a flurry of passenger rail news from Maine and New Hampshire. First, Maine.
Lewiston-Auburn: Two workshops will be held this month as part of a $400,000 legislative appropriation to examine the viability and community support for service between L-A and Portland. The first will be in Portland on Tuesday, March 27th in Room 24 of the Portland City Hall and the other in Lewiston on Wednesday, March 28th in Callahan Hall of the Lewiston Library from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.