• 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

  • 8970 posts
  • 1
  • 591
  • 592
  • 593
  • 594
  • 595
  • 598
  by Arborwayfan
 
Swist,
That's what I meant by no shopping; I should have said it specifically. My grandparents used to have a cottage up there (on Mousam Lake, actually, which is why I used that as an example) and we often brought a week's worth of food with us, just to save time. But of course we were driving, just as most lake cottage visitors would be driving today; the idea of anyone using the Downeaster to get to a quarantined cottage rental and bringing their food with them for more than a day or two is pretty unlikely. Then again, the owner/manager of the cottage could do a big shopping trip for the renter beforehand; I rented a house once where they did that for firewood, bottled gas, milk. So I think the only special infrastructure needed for cottage rentals would be some method of remote payment for the cottage and for groceries, and some way of getting in without handing off a key, such as one of those key boxes with a code that real estate agents and self-serve cottages in Scandinavia use. But of course this is all only relevant to this thread insofar as it concerns cottages near enough to the train to walk and with some private outdoor area to have fun in without being out in public -- so not that many choices.
  by MEC407
 
My family has been in the Maine tourism/hospitality business since the 1880s. (That's not a typo.)

We survived the 1918 pandemic and we'll survive this pandemic too.

This year will suck, but businesses that are smart and prepared will survive and bounce back in 2021.

Every year is a gamble. Things happen. You get a rain-filled June or gas prices go up or the country goes to yet another war, and it can be lights out for businesses that didn't set aside funds for the inevitable rainy days. But the businesses that prepared and have a unique product survive.

Plus, there's already talk of a vaccine being available by Christmastime this year, thanks in part to a Massachusetts company and a New Hampshire company that have been working on it.
  by gokeefe
 
Not to mention IDEXX helping out with testing in the meantime ...

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  by markhb
 
NNEPRA is having an online board meeting tomorrow at 10 Am EDT; meeting instructions are on their website.

Supposedly MeDOT gave a presentation on the Portland Transportation Center to the Portland City Council's Transportation Committee this week, but there's no related info in the meeting packet and I can't get the meeting video to play online.
  by gokeefe
 
Feels to me like they've started to narrow down the sites.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  by markhb
 
BM6569 wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 7:56 pm i think this is the link. Either it's still not working or my internet sucks. Started to freeze after the first couple of minutes

https://townhallstreams.com/stream.php? ... 2&id=27243
Thanks! I was able to watch it finally. A quick summary:
  • They are now looking at 3 sites: the existing PTC area, lower St. John St. near Sid Harvey's (basically anywhere between Barber Foods and Mountain Junction seems to be the idea, but that isn't much room), or the old Union Station area.
  • Preferred location is lower St. John St area, because it would allow access from Mountain Junction as well if the Rock Row service / commuter rail concept to Westbrook comes to fruition.
  • Concord Coach isn't interested in moving; they want to improve their station, and need to know what Amtrak's plans are first. So anything on St. John St. will be train-only.
  • They said that only about 10% of passengers ever go multi-modal on a single trip (down on bus, back on train or vice-versa).
  • A new, separate train station in the Thompsons Point / current PTC area is a possibility.
  • The wye was mentioned, but it seems like there is very little interest in it as it would be a lot of money for a very slim gain in through-travel time.
Those were the high points!
  by Ryanontherails
 
markhb wrote: Tue May 26, 2020 7:37 pm
BM6569 wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 7:56 pm i think this is the link. Either it's still not working or my internet sucks. Started to freeze after the first couple of minutes

https://townhallstreams.com/stream.php? ... 2&id=27243
Thanks! I was able to watch it finally. A quick summary:
  • They are now looking at 3 sites: the existing PTC area, lower St. John St. near Sid Harvey's (basically anywhere between Barber Foods and Mountain Junction seems to be the idea, but that isn't much room), or the old Union Station area.
  • Preferred location is lower St. John St area, because it would allow access from Mountain Junction as well if the Rock Row service / commuter rail concept to Westbrook comes to fruition.
  • Concord Coach isn't interested in moving; they want to improve their station, and need to know what Amtrak's plans are first. So anything on St. John St. will be train-only.
  • They said that only about 10% of passengers ever go multi-modal on a single trip (down on bus, back on train or vice-versa).
  • A new, separate train station in the Thompsons Point / current PTC area is a possibility.
  • The wye was mentioned, but it seems like there is very little interest in it as it would be a lot of money for a very slim gain in through-travel time.
Those were the high points!
In my opinion, the only place that makes sense for the train station is on St. John's Street south of Mountain Junction. If you keep it at the Portland Transportation Center, you have to deal with the reverse move. If you move it to the old Union Station area, trains to Westbrook (and possibly beyond) would have to do the reverse move if they were to stop there. So that is my preferred alternative.

Personally, I don't think the Downeaster and Concord Coach need to be in the same place. Concord Coach buses running only as far as Portland don't interchange with the Downeaster anyway (or don't need to) so they can stay as they are, and the thirteen buses each way that run past Portland can be routed so that they would stop at both the new train station and the PTC. This would move all of the Downeaster passengers' cars to the train station and free up parking for Concord Coach. Greyhound can also move to the train station as well as they have only two buses each way.
Last edited by Ryanontherails on Thu May 28, 2020 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by gokeefe
 
Interesting ... I think the only way this can really work is if they're going to acquire the plumbing supply building. Sounds to me like that is what is being considered. I *do* think NNEPRA is really unhappy with the backup move at the PTC. They've finally had it with that one and are ready to move on. Good for them.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  by swist
 
The plumbing supply is certainly in the right place, but that's F.W.Webb, one of the largest and I would guess most profitable plumbing wholesalers in New England. Buying them out is not going to be cheap. Although if you see the acrobatics the truckers have to perform to pull into their loading dock (ironically mostly due to the railroad ROW being too close), maybe they might consider something else.
  by bostontrainguy
 
Preferred location is lower St. John St area, because it would allow access from Mountain Junction as well if the Rock Row service / commuter rail concept to Westbrook comes to fruition.

This is really a no-brainer. It got to be done.
  by The EGE
 
If a decent connection was made to the Western Promenade, it would be vastly friendlier to get to/from downtown by foot or bike than the current location.
  by gokeefe
 

swist wrote:The plumbing supply is certainly in the right place, but that's F.W.Webb, one of the largest and I would guess most profitable plumbing wholesalers in New England.
Not as expensive as you might think. It's probably going to be a condemnation by MaineDOT if I'm reading the tea leaves correctly. In that case it's just fair market value of the real estate and the business will have to relocate.


Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  by Ryanontherails
 
gokeefe wrote: Fri May 29, 2020 7:21 pm
swist wrote:The plumbing supply is certainly in the right place, but that's F.W.Webb, one of the largest and I would guess most profitable plumbing wholesalers in New England.
Not as expensive as you might think. It's probably going to be a condemnation by MaineDOT if I'm reading the tea leaves correctly. In that case it's just fair market value of the real estate and the business will have to relocate.


Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
Is that F. W. Webb, or is it Ferguson? If it's the latter then it should be even cheaper. And there is a brand new parking garage next door, making that site even better.
  • 1
  • 591
  • 592
  • 593
  • 594
  • 595
  • 598