December 15, 2020 marks the 19th Anniversary of Amtrak Downeaster service between Portland, Maine and Boston, Massachusetts. Since service started, more than 65,000 Downeaster trains have operated, transporting more than 7.62 million passengers the equivalent of nearly 658 million passenger miles. The Downeaster transports a diverse cross-section of riders who travel for a variety of purposes including commuter, college students, senior citizens, school kids on educational trips, sports fans, beach goers and tourists and more.
Amtrak Downeaster ridership increased nearly 90% in the fifteen years leading up to FY19 and continued into FY20 as ridership records were achieved in the first eight months of the year.
Many improvements have been made since service began including reduced travel time, increased frequency and expanded service to Freeport and Brunswick. There’s more on the horizon! Downeaster frequency will increase to serve Maine commuters. Efforts to reduce travel time by relocating the Portland station and to expand access by adding a station in West Falmouth are being explored. Amtrak is purchasing new train sets which will be used on the Downeaster route in the coming years.
This past year has had its challenges, but Amtrak Downeaster adapted and continues to operate with an enhanced focus on passenger safety and comfort.
The NNEPRA Team is grateful to passengers, crews, station communities, and ambassadors for riding along with us on this journey.
Cheers to 19 years – there are many more to come!