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 Joins Other States to Keep the Dome Car Rolling
- Created: 06 September 2018 06 September 2018
The bi-monthly Downeaster Operations Meeting was held on the Great Dome Car yesterday. It was an appropriate location after Amtrak announced plans to eliminate the very popular car from their fleet as of December 31st, 2018. The proposed "sunset" of the car was clearly on the minds of those who were interviewed.
NNEPRA Executive Director Patricia Quinn announced that a group of states, including Maine, have inquired of Amtrak as what it would cost to refurbish and keep the Dome car in service, rather than have it permanently taken out of service at the end of this year.
Come along for the ride and hear from those on board.
Trains Magazine Article Reported That Amtrak Would Halt Service on All Non-PTC Routes - That Included the Downeaster! Amtrak Issued a “Clarification”
- Created: 28 August 2018 28 August 2018
NNEPRA and Amtrak have been conducting a risk assessment of the Downeaster route and, according to a knowledgeable source, preliminary results do not indicate any factors which would jeopardize the Downeaster Service.
NNEPRA's 2018 Fiscal Year Ends with Strong Numbers
- Created: 30 July 2018 30 July 2018
The NNEPRA Board heard an impressive report on FY2018, which came to an end on June 30th.
Executive Director Patricia Quinn pointed out that FY2018 was the second strongest period in the Downeaster's history, missing setting a new record by just 5,000 riders. Ridership grew 7.75% over FY2017. There was also good news on ticket revenue. It came in at $10,245,061 - exceeding $10 million for the first time and the previous fiscal year by $1,624,943 or nearly 19%!
Ontime performance continued to be a problem. So far this calendar year it has averaged 70%. NNEPRA, Amtrak and PanAM will be meeting soon to how best to address the problem.
The Downeaster's overall customer satisfaction continued to outpace Amtrak nationally, 90-83.
NNEPRA June Board Meeting - Ridership/Revenue Growth and Kennebunk Stop Presentation
- Created: 26 June 2018 26 June 2018
Ridership/Revenue: NNEPRA Executive Director Patricia Quinn reported on 11 months of FY2018. Ridership is already ahead of FY2017 by 37,013. It's now half a million! Revenue is $1,464,665 ahead of the same 11-month period in FY2017! No matter how you figure it, the Downeaster continues its solid growth. May on-time performance came in at a disappointing 68% while May Overall All Customer Satisfaction hit 90 (Amtrak's overall percentage was 78).
Fall Construction: This fall will see construction projects that will reduce expected ridership/revenue as some 15,000 ties will be replaced between Wells and Dover, necessitating busing between the two stations. In addition, there will be an extensive outage in Saco as bridge timbers across the Saco River are replaced along with the Main Street crossing.
Kennebunk Downeaster Stop: This month the Kennebunk Board of Selectmen voted, by a 6-0 tally, to officially request of NNEPRA a seasonal stop. This action has been four plus years in the making but was welcomed by the board as "serving more Mainers with passenger rail."
TrainRiders/NE talked with Ms. Quinn about the expected 2019 service (contracts still need to be written and signed). Three town officials, including the Interim Economic Development Director Jim Black, presented their modified proposal to the board.
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.