Amtrak's Downeaster runs from Boston's North Station to Portland, Maine, five times a day, with two trips going on to Freeport and Brunswick (and one additional round trip between Portland and Brunswick) stopping at several Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine towns. The train started running on December 14, 2001, and carries standard Amfleet coaches and cafe car. We've have had an opportunity to do some photography since its inception and are especially impressed by the small transportation centers springing up in towns like Dover, NH, and Wells, Maine, as well as by surveys which show high customer satisfaction. It was a struggle to get the train running, what with endless roadblocks created by Guildford Transportation, which owns the old Boston and Maine tracks over which the train runs. Fortunately, TraiinRiders/Northeast kept on the pressure through its RailVision PAC to collect signatures (close to 90,000) in Maine to force state government to spend no less than $40 million dollars to get things on track. Happily, with this help Amtrak and the train's sponsor, the New England Rail Passenger Authority, have prevailed. Happily, the service expanded to Freeport-Brunswick in Novermber, 2012. The train has food service, business class and free wi-fi for all. Train hosts assist passengers at station stops.
Here are some of our photos. Click on thumbnails to enlarge.
The first two photos above were taken in the Wells station, and the next two of trains coming and going. The final five were taken in Haverhill, Mass., in the winter and summer of 2005.
The above were taken in Dover, NH, in July, 2005. The photos below were taken in Durham, New Hampshire, in January 2006
We were finally able to photograph the train in Freeport on a wintry day in February, 2013, on its way from Boston to Brunswick. A large crowd exited, many doubtless heading to the huge LLBean store.