The Amtrak Downeaster began Phase 1 of Service Restoration on June 15, 2020 with one round trip between Brunswick, ME and Boston, MA: southbound Train 680 and northbound Train 685. Downeaster service had been suspended since April 13, 2020.
A number of protocols and procedures have been implemented to protect the health and safety of passengers and crews.
Highlights of Phase 1 Service Restoration Plan:
- Amtrak has implemented new cleaning and disinfecting protocols nationwide. Train equipment used in Downeaster service will undergo enhanced cleaning before and after each trip.
- Crews and passengers are required to wear face covering while boarding and moving about the train.
- The number of passengers per train is limited to no more than 50% of available seating capacity allowing riders to adhere to physical distancing guidelines.
- Advance reservations are required and cash sales will not be accepted.
- Station facilities are not open; passengers should go directly to the outdoor platform to wait for their train.
- While full Café service is not available, complimentary water is available upon request.
- Stations and platforms have been updated with signage and other enhancements to promote public health and physical distancing.
While NNEPRA expects Downeaster service to increase frequency throughout the summer months, no date has been set for subsequent phases. The NNEPRA Board of Directors plans to meet later this month to evaluate the potential for adding more daily trips.
Pan Am Railways has expedited a series of track improvement and maintenance projects along the Downeaster corridor to take place this spring to avoid construction-related service interruptions later in the year. The schedule for Train 680 has been modified slightly to adjust for construction-related delays. Passengers travelling on Train 685 to stations north of Haverhill should expect delays of approximately 15 minutes.
Complete information about the steps Amtrak is taking to protect the health and safety of their passengers and crews is available at Amtrak.com
For additional Amtrak Downeaster information visit: AmtrakDowneaster.com