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
January, 2018 NNEPRA Board Meeting
- Created: 29 January 2018 29 January 2018
The NNEPRA Board met at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. The well-attended meeting heard reports on the Downeaster's performance numbers and further details on the proposed Coastal Connection.
Representatives from the MidCoast were present to add their support for the proposed summer weekend service expansion.
Ridership & Revenue Report:
The first six months of NNEPRA's fiscal year delivered record-breaking numbers or as Executive Director Patricia Quinn put it, "It was a good story - the best ever!"
Ridership in FY2018 saw a 13% increase over FY2017. On the revenue side, income grew in FY2018 by 26%! Ms. Quinn noted that the last three months of FY2017 were plagued by extensive tie-replacement work.
Rockland Residents Enthusiastically Support Proposed Downeaster Expansion to the MidCoast
- Created: 25 January 2018 25 January 2018
NNEPRA's Executive Director Patricia Quinn briefed Rockland residents and officials last night about the proposed seasonal expansion of Downeaster service to several mid-coast towns and cities. Bath, Wiscasset, Newcastle/Damariscotta and Rockland would be added to the route.
Those in attendance, more than 70, listened, asked questions and learned that the service could run from July to Labor Day in September with direct trains to and from Boston on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
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.
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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.