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2018 Downeaster train connection to Rockland


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#1 DSS&A

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 07:10 AM

Hi,the NNEPRA announced at its annual meeting that there will be a new seasonal Downeaster Coastal Connection train from Brunswick to/from Rockland. Here's a link to the initial information.


https://m.facebook.c...912869372062934movie

#2 HP_Lovecraft

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 07:44 AM

It think this is great.  Up until last year, we would take the Eastern Rail to Rockland for a very scenic ride.

The state owns the right of way, and when the contract went up for bid, the winner did not want to offer passenger service, only freight.

 

It was rather annoying since Amtrak only recently started going up to Brunswick a few years ago, making the connection possible. 

Fortunately, we already have stations, and the rails are all setup for passenger use.  In fact, I can see all those proposed stops are already listed on the Amtrak's listing of stations.



#3 fairviewroad

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 08:40 AM

Interesting. This would be unique in the Amtrak system, IINM. Amtrak serves some *stations* seasonally but those are stations along routes where the train passes through year-round. This would be the only case where Amtrak runs trains along a certain route for only part of the year, if I'm understanding the service model correctly.



#4 NETrainfan

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 09:12 AM

Progress in Maine.


Train Trips: Acela Express, California Zephyr (3x), Capitol Limited (2x), Coast Starlight (4x), Desert Wind, Lake Shore Limited (6x), Northeast Regional (many times), Pacific Surfliner (2x), Silver Meteor (7x), Southwest Chief (4x), Cardinal.


#5 RPC

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 09:52 AM

Interesting. This would be unique in the Amtrak system, IINM. Amtrak serves some *stations* seasonally but those are stations along routes where the train passes through year-round. This would be the only case where Amtrak runs trains along a certain route for only part of the year, if I'm understanding the service model correctly.

Amtrak used to do this with its seasonal service to Cape Cod, and it's currently being done with the Winter Park Express (though that's admittedly part of the CZ route). I hope the freight operator doesn't try to throw a wrench into the works!



#6 Palmland

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 09:55 AM

I didnt see where it says the connection will be a train. Could this be just through ticketing to a connecting bus?

#7 CHamilton

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 10:28 AM

No, this is a train.
 

NNEPRA announced the Downeaster Coastal Connection with proposed seasonal service to Bath, Wiscasset, Newcastle/Damariscotta and Rockland! As early as next summer, a rider can get on the Downeaster in Boston, or any station in between, and travel all the way to Rockland on the weekend. This came as a pleasant surprise to those attending the rail authority's Annual Meeting. We talked with NNEPRA Board Chairman John Melrose and TrainRiders/NE Chairman Wayne Davis about the announcement. Check out the video:

 


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#8 Palmetto

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 01:14 PM

Technically, this is not an Amtrak train.  It's sponsored by NNEPRA and contracts with Amtrak for the use of its equipment and crews.

I could be wrong but I think the Winter Park Express is in the same vein.



#9 HP_Lovecraft

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 01:38 PM

Technically, this is not an Amtrak train.  It's sponsored by NNEPRA and contracts with Amtrak for the use of its equipment and crews.

I could be wrong but I think the Winter Park Express is in the same vein.

 

The Downeaster is  probably the same as many of the small state-funded routes.

But since you can book it on amtrak.com, with guaranteed connections, does it matter?

 

That said, the Downeaster was supposed to start using the Kennebunk's 150 year old station back in 2014.  But it keeps getting delayed, over and over.  For the typical reasons- politics and money.  I hope this new Rockland extension doesnt end up the same way.



#10 DSS&A

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 04:03 PM

Hi,
Someone posted a link ob railroad.net to a newspaper article with more information. It would initially be a weekend round-trip service from Boston with existing train equipment.

https://bangordailyn...by-summer-2018/

#11 lo2e

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 09:10 AM

https://www.usnews.c...ter-to-rockland

 

 

 

The operator of Amtrak's Downeaster is planning a pilot run from Brusnwick to Rockland as soon as this month to test the viability of the program.

 

The good news continues!  If DSS&A is correct that they will use existing equipment, I imagine this will start like service to Brunswick did, maybe a morning round trip and an afternoon/evening round trip, then if it proves very successful, expand it to more trips.



#12 Palmetto

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 05:21 PM

No, it's weekend service in the summer only--at least this year.



#13 lo2e

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 06:25 PM

Yes thats what I meant - two round trips on Saturday, two on Sunday in the summer, then expand either days or number of trips if it works to do so.




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