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
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.
The Downeaster Exceeds Ridership and Revenue Targets
- Created: 21 July 2017 21 July 2017
NNEPRA's Executive Director, Patricia Quinn, reports that the Downeaster exceeded annual targets for ridership and revenue in FY 2017. Ridership topped out at 511,422, exceeding passenger goals by 9%. Revenue exceeded FY2017 goals by 7%. There were track maintenance challenges, but "America's Favorite Train" came through with more than half a million riders!
From the Portland Press Herald: "Improved reliability, schedule changes and added trips to Freeport and Brunswick helped add riders in 2016-17, the authority said. The Downeaster service has some of the highest customer satisfaction scores among Amtrak routes in the country."
Patrica Quinn was the 2014 Mainebiz Business Leader of the Year and she continues to drive the Downeaster to higher performance levels.
TrainRiders/NE interviewed Ms. Quinn about FY2017. It was a memorable year.
TrainRiders/NE Hosts Visit the Amtrak Dispatch Center in Boston
- Created: 26 June 2017 26 June 2017
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.
NNEPRA Throws Luncheon for Downeaster Volunteers
- Created: 06 June 2017 06 June 2017
NNEPRA welcomed nearly 100 volunteers to their Appreciation Luncheon on Monday at the Clarion Hotel in Portland. Many of TrainRiders/NE's Train and Station Hosts were in attendance.
Executive Director Patricia Quinn updated the gathering on the latest Downeaster performance and project news. For many of those present, it was their annual "checkup" on the health of the Downeaster.
The new board chairman, John Melrose, joined Patricia in thanking the volunteers for the thousands of hours they put in on behalf of the service. Mr. Melrose was former DOT commissioner under Governor Angus King.
Those in attendance left with a better understanding of the Downeaster's mission - its relationship with the communities it serves and NNEPRA's plans for Downeaster growth.
We invite you to become a train or station host. 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 promote rail safety.
Yes, you get to ride the train for FREE during your onboard duties. Go here for details.
NNEPRA May Board Meeting - FY2017 Continues Growth
- Created: 22 May 2017 22 May 2017
Executive Director Patricia Quinn briefed the NNEPRA Board on the Downeaster's Performance. With one more quarter to go, FY2017 has already eclipsed FY2016 in ridership and revenue. Only two months, October and November, saw a decrease in ridership.
FY2017 is well ahead of FY2016 by 33,954 riders or 9%.
Revenue in FY2017 to date was $6,425,859 compared to $5,990,533 - an increase of 7%
Brunswick Layover Facility:
From the Performance Report: "During the first full season in the BLF, the Downeaster posted strong ridership gains and our best on-time-performance in five years." Trains did not have to spend the winter months outdoors but were inside the new facility, where 50-degree temperature made ice and snow removal far easier for the appreciative maintenance crews.