• 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
  • 570
  • 571
  • 572
  • 573
  • 574
  • 598
  by jonnhrr
 
gokeefe wrote: Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:25 pm Thank you! Good to hear the Open House was supportive of that objective. I'm very optimistic that it will help enhance the existing service. Hopefully there will be discussion of how to continue to cooperate with Concord Coach lines in whatever way makes sense.
That would be one drawback, losing the intermodal aspect that the current station provides, unless CC would be willing to move to the new station site. I suspect that would only happen if the state or city were to subsidize the move.

Jon
  by MEC407
 
swist wrote: Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:30 am ...get the boarding passengers onto the platform sooner, get the disembarking passengers lined up in the train (some conductors are better than others at this), use multiple doors more efficiently.
Usually when I'm destined for Portland the conductor comes through just as we're crossing the river from South Portland to Portland and tells people to grab their stuff and move toward the door. I always thought that was a little premature, but it's probably not premature for families with kids.

As far as boarding is concerned, they could speed that up tremendously by not making passengers wait inside the station building until the last minute before allowing them to walk to the platform. I know that was discussed a few pages back and I can't remember whether or not there was a definitive answer to why they do that. There was speculation that it was a safety issue but that never made any sense, considering that it's not done anywhere else except BON.
  by gokeefe
 
It is very common to line passengers up in the trainway so they can board as soon as the conductors are ready.
  by Dick H
 
While storm issues cause unavoidable delays, PAR has has a rash of freight train breakdowns lately, especially between Durham and Plaistow. Depending on the severity of the problem, sometimes requiring personnel from Portland and the timing on the DE schedule, this has resulted in delays of as much as three hours. More than likely, some "never again" riders are lost forever. Some of those GE's run as bad as they look.
  by gokeefe
 
I wonder at times if operational improvements on the MBTA have made the single track bottleneck in New Hampshire far more prominent than it was in the past.

I'm sure Pan Am has breakdowns in Maine but when was the last time a stalled freight in Old Orchard or Wells caused a problem?
  by markhb
 
Was there a NNEPRA board meeting last week? They still haven't posted the packet. I know in the past there has been a big "Annual Meeting" in October but I haven't seen anything on that either.
  by daybeers
 
Bangor Daily News: "Concord Coach Lines’ ridership in Maine is up by more than 50 percent from a decade ago."
The Portland Press Herald reports that company statistics show more than 640,000 passengers rode Concord Coach Lines in Maine last year.

The company has become one of the biggest mass transit players in the state, with more passengers riding the coach line than taking the Amtrak Downeaster line or flights to Bangor International Airport.

The newspaper reports Concord’s ridership is almost 100,000 more than the Amtrak line, with stops in 17 Maine towns and cities.
While it's great more people are taking the bus, hopefully meaning instead of using their car, and traveling to Maine in general (in some ways, especially with the old GE engines, the buses have a lower carbon footprint), it means more passengers that could have been on the Downeaster.
  by swist
 
As a user of both, obviously I prefer the comfort of the train, although CC buses are as good as it gets in an intercity bus.

However, The bus is also more expensive, particularly if you have any discounts on the DE like Senior, at which point it is a *lot* more expensive.

But I do have to say that the OTP of the bus is much better than the train. The equipment is newer, breakdowns are rare, the only issues are traffic, limited to getting out of Boston on the 5:25 PM, and up and down the coastal route in the Summer.

The bus does not go to Wells Saco, OOB, or Freeport. Hence it is faster. But it does go up the coast to Rockland, and also serves L-A, Bangor and Augusta.

So those are the pros and cons. Lots of apples and oranges.
  by MEC407
 
CC's OTP wouldn't be as good if their drivers were forced to actually obey speed limits (as Amtrak engineers are).
  by jonnhrr
 
CC offers good service, about as good as it gets with intercity bus.
One beef I have is that it is strictly someplace - Portland - Boston. For example if you want to go from Auburn to Bangor, you have to go to Portland and change. Even though the bus goes right past the Exit 75 stop to get to Bangor and in some runs stops there to discharge, you can't board there.

The train on the other hand makes multiple stops so you have a lot of point to point possibilities e.g. Saco to Freeport for example.

Of course CC has a lot more routes that train fans can only dream about. It is much easier to set up a bus route. When the decision was made to serve L/A, 2 bus stops were built and in a year badda-bing new service. Contrast that with the agonizing progress (if it can be called that) of trying to add rail service to L/A.
  by pnolette
 
681 and 684 are not running east of Wells on Tuesday Nov.19. Is it for trackwork?
  by gokeefe
 
Interesting ... Didn't think they were going back. The active track has new panels. The inactive track does not.

  by Rockingham Racer
 
Anybody willing to speculate what will happen to next summer's service extension to Rockland now the CP has bought the CMQ?
  • 1
  • 570
  • 571
  • 572
  • 573
  • 574
  • 598