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
Maine DOT Supports NNEPRA Goal to Relocate Portland Station to the Mainline
- Created: 23 February 2021 23 February 2021
At this month's NNEPRA Board Meeting, Executive Director Patricia Quinn announced that the Maine DOT was on board with the rail authority's goal of moving the Portland passenger station from its current location to a new facility on the mainline. Such a move would eliminate backing out of the Portland Transportation Center in order to maintain service to and from Freeport/Brunswick. Ms. Quinn figures that one-mile detour' costs the Downeaster at least two hours of unnecessary travel each day - that's 14 hours a week!!!
The DOT has pledged up to $2 million for a feasibility study which is expected to take two years. More on this topic can be viewed at Maine Public.
In other news from the meeting:
- Ticket-generated income since July (beginning of the fiscal year) was $1,047,133 with 46,136 passengers. Ms. Quinn noted that ridership to date is but 15% of the normal passenger load but it is growing, albeit at a slow pace. However, ridership at the Haverhill station has picked up because the MBTA has suspended weekend service there.
- NNEPRA is planning to return the 5th roundtrip by Memorial Day if Covid-19 restrictions for Interstate travel are relaxed. Assuming that the Red Sox return to Fenway Park, night games will once again see a later northbound train departure.
- Cash is now accepted for Downeaster travel at the Portland Transportation Center and onboard.
- Bicycles are now able to 'roll on' to all trains at all stations - one per coach.
Rail Passengers Association Webinar Features Chairman Wayne Davis
- Created: 29 January 2021 29 January 2021
The Rail Passengers Association, formerly the National Association of Railroad Passengers, held a webinar this week for its members. The topic was state-sponsored Amtrak service.
Chairman Wayne Davis of TrainRiders/NE was one of several presenters who shared not only the projects they were focused on but, in Wayne's case, how an effective grassroots effort galvanized a state legislature to push for the return of Amtrak service to Maine. The Downeaster service from Maine through New Hampshire to Boston was the result. Wayne shared the video we shot on board the Downeaster during the pandemic, demonstrating the safety measures in place and discovering the various reasons passengers were traveling.
You can view Wayne's remarks beginning at 8:46 into the video. Later, he returned to share with the group advice that then Gov. Angus King provided which led to the creation of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority.
The Downeaster Celebrates it's 19th Birthday!
- Created: 15 December 2020 15 December 2020
Back in 1989, Wayne Davis led a group of 21 Maine/NH citizens that created our grassroots non-profit. They organized a citizen's petition that urged the legislature to support passenger rail in Maine. It took 12 years of constant work with government officials in Maine and ultimately with Amtrak and the US Congress to get 'America's Favorite Train' on the tracks. Our history of accomplishment, which brought the Downeaster to northern New England, continues today with plans to extend connecting service to New York City.
We're planning for the future and we invite you to join us by going here: http://trainridersne.org/index.php/join-trainridersnortheast
CSX to Acquire PanAm's New England Rail Network
- Created: 01 December 2020 01 December 2020
The Amtrak Downeaster will soon have a new host railroad - CSX. The freight railroad has agreed to acquire Pan Am Railways' northern New England network for an estimated $700 million. The details of the agreement, which are not yet public, will be reviewed by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board.
NNEPRA Executive Director Patricia Quinn told TrainRidersNE: "We have enjoyed a long and productive working relationship with Pan Am Railways which we look forward to continuing with this new partner, in a new era, filled with opportunity."
Pan Am President David A. Fink said this about the upcoming merger, "Pan Am is pleased to reach this agreement with CSX, a North American leader in rail-based freight transportation. This is great news for New England shippers and the national freight network overall.”
Safe Amtrak Downeaster Travel During the Pandemic
- Created: 25 October 2020 25 October 2020
What's it like to travel on the Amtrak Downeaster during the Covid-19 pandemic? In a few words, 'safe and comfortable.'
Wayne Davis took to the train to chat with the passengers about their experience and the conductors about the Covid protocols.
Ridership continues to grow, albeit not as fast as we'd like to see. Why not take a trip to NOWHERE, between Brunswick and Boston, just to get out of the house? The crews will be delighted to see you.