• Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  • 9061 posts
  • 1
  • 590
  • 591
  • 592
  • 593
  • 594
  • 605
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
I think going forward, there will be a vaccine for the COVID-19 but that could be several months from now. I don't like needles but I'd much rather get the shot, if available, over getting the real virus. Back to the Downeaster, I'm sure that when the cases of the COVID-19 ease a lot, then more people will make their trips from the Greater Boston area to places in Downeast Main including Saco and Portland. Looking ahead into 2021, the National Railway Historical Society is supposed to have their annual convention in Portland and if I can go, then I will and I would ride the Downeaster if I had that option.
  by gokeefe
 
Agreed. Get a booster if necessary. Or run it as a combination with the flu shot. Not a world ending issue. It is interesting to see how the economy really is on "pause" right now. Our government is doing a good job preventing liquidation of capital and demand. When I say government I'm speaking very broadly. Federal, state, local and all three branches at every level.

This is why I feel confident that the Downeaster will return with healthy ridership (both physically and fiscally) once this period is over.
  by west point
 
Remember that this fall's vaccine for flu usually has to set between December 2019 and Feb. 2020. To insert a covid-19 vaccine probably will not be too difficult but who knows. Remember flu is also a Corona virus as well. Anyway hope for the best but prepare for the worse case.
  by bdawe
 
west point wrote: Sat Apr 18, 2020 7:17 pm Remember that this fall's vaccine for flu usually has to set between December 2019 and Feb. 2020. To insert a covid-19 vaccine probably will not be too difficult but who knows. Remember flu is also a Corona virus as well. Anyway hope for the best but prepare for the worse case.
The flu is an influenza virus. Some varieties of the common cold are coronaviruses, but the flu is not
  by Jeff Smith
 
Let's please keep it related to trains please, and not speculate on COVID treatments.
  by swist
 
With the announcement of many Maine counties partially opening up, I assume the ban on nonessential travel will end soon.

Would the Downeaster come back earlier than May 31 if this plays out as it appears?
  by gokeefe
 
Seems unlikely given that it's primary service area is in the non rural counties that are remaining closed.
  by troffey
 
Believe it is tentatively scheduled to resume July 1 at this point.
  by jonnhrr
 
Currently out of state visitors are required to quarantine for 14 days which pretty much kills the possibility of many from out of state traveling on the Downeaster to Maine for vacation. No date yet on when this requirement will be lifted.
  by swist
 
That's a hot topic - if they don't change it, it won't just kill vacation travel on the DE, but will kill most all tourism.
  by b&m 1566
 
Sadly the tourism industry is going to take a big hit this year and a lot of business will permanently close as a result. It will probably take a few years (at least) for the industry to bounce back from this.
  by Arborwayfan
 
I was thinking about the quarantine this morning. One thing it does not interfere with is cottage rentals in places where the whole point is to be alone for a weekend or a week or a couple weeks with a private piece of lakefront or woods. Walking on trails that aren't busy is also OK. So a day at OOB is out, and a week at a hotel in Bar Harbor is complicated, but a week in a cottage on Mousam Lake or wherever is possible. But no takeout, no shopping, ie nothing else that would put money in the economy.

It's a tough decision for the state, just like it is for colleges: No or few tourists this year means a huge blow to a big part of the economy, but an outbreak of Covid 19 among tourists in Maine this year could mean a blow that lasts for years.

Interesting Maine-related sidenote, hopefully not too OT: I saw last night that the Seashore is offering private trolley rides four families or groups of friends up to 10 for $100; groups under 5 people also get a family pass good for any day in the next couple of years. Creative.
Last edited by Arborwayfan on Thu May 21, 2020 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Irony B&M 1566.... you birthed the thread based on the line's future.
b&m 1566 wrote: Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:14 pm Is the Downeaster's days numbered?

The future of the Downeaster is up in the air.
The trains ridership and revenue are up but it operates at a loss. A federal grant worth $6 million will disappear after June 2009 and the service is now depending on receiving between $7 and $8 million annual aid from the state of Maine to continue the service beyond July 2009.
Some of the state’s lawmakers and Gov. John Baldacci have expressed support for the project but Maine’s budget is currently facing a shortfall and additional money could be hard to find.
Commuters – as opposed to visitors or tourist – make up 33% of the Downeaster’s ridership, said Patricia Quinn, executive director of the NNEPRA but that figure is based upon the number of passengers who purchase regular passed rather than single one-way or round-trip tickets.
The total ridership on the Downeaster in December was 34,240. Of that number, 24,081 or approximately 70% took the train during the weekdays when commuters are more likely to travel.
Additionally, the service’s most popular trains are the weekday 680 train, which departs Portland at 5:55 AM and the 685 train, which departs Boston at 5:00 PM. During December the 680 train averaged 199 passengers and the 685 train averaged 234 passengers.
To date in the 2008 fiscal year, which ends June 30, ridership on the Downeaster is up by 25% compared with the same period in the previous year, according to Amtrak. Revenue has grown by 27.7% to $943,521.
Still, the revenue covers only about 55% of the Downeaster’s cost, Quinn said, and the net loss runs about $12.80 per rider ship. So the train depends on subsidies and needs the additional money from Maine to stay in business. Massachusetts and New Hampshire don’t contribute subsidies to the service.
Quinn said if Maine legislators fail to pass the grant for this year’s budget she will have a very small window of opportunity to try again next January before the money runs out.
Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts, Inc., The Callboy February 2008 edition, by Jesse Noyes, p19
  by swist
 
ArborwayFan: If you look at the executive order, there is this small problem of food. In the cities you can get delivery. No one is going to go to a beautiful remote spot in Maine while technically unable to leave the house to get food. So unless people bring up to 2 weeks food with them, this can't work. Those who stay the SUmmer will probably put up with it.

As this regulation is largely unenforcible I suspect some will c ome anyway and go to the supermarket or do takeout. But many will just write such a "vacation" off for this year.
  by amtrakhogger
 
I checked Amtrak.com and it is showing one round trip restored as of 7/6.
  • 1
  • 590
  • 591
  • 592
  • 593
  • 594
  • 605