The Downeaster is operated by Amtrak under contract to NNEPRA and is one of 15 State supported Amtrak routes in the country. Per this agreement, NNEPRA reimburses Amtrak to provide the equipment, train crews, Portland ticket agents and reservations services to support the Downeaster.
Drummac performs mechanical maintenance, inspections, repairs and cleaning of Downeaster train equipment.
NNEPRA contracts with Epicurean Feast to provide on-board food service. The Downeaster Café features locally produced products such as Amato's sandwiches, Wicked Whoopie Pies, Shipyard Beer and Capt'n Eli’s Blueberry Soda.
The 36 miles of track between the NH/MA state line in Plaistow, NH, and Boston North Station is owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and is used for commuter rail service.
The 78 miles between the Portland Transportation Center and the NH/MA state line in Plaistow, NH, is owned by Pan Am Railways and is used for freight and passenger service.
Volunteer Train Hosts, coordinated by TrainRiders Northeast, are often on board the Downeaster to provide passenger assistance.