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                  Downeaster Page


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 six photos above were taken in Dover, NH, in late December 2001 and a year later. The next three in December 2001, and the last at the new Wells, Maine, station in May, 2004.


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

Below is a photo taken in Kennebunk on a beautful late autumn day in November, 2007. It shows a Downeaster speeding through on its way from Boston to Portland. Kennebunk passengers cannot use the beautiful old station, but are only a few minutes from the one in Wells. Or they can drive up to Saco.


In August 2008 I took a day to check out the train in Old Orchard Beach, where it is a seasonal visitor, and an few miles south in Saco, where a new transportation center is under construction. The top photo catches the train heading north on its way to Portland, and the second shows it  stopping in Saco on its way to North Station Boston. Both trains seemed heavilty patronized (it was the start of the Labor Day weekend) and a welcome relief from the usual heavy traffic that plagues area highways this time of year.


I stopped by the Exeter, NH, station on a beautiful autumn day in October, 2009. Just in time to catch the train arriving from Boston.

Here's a shot of the train under an overpass on Summer Street (Routes 35 and 9A) in Kennebunk on June 21, 2011. Heading from Portland down to Boston,

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.


We'll keep photographing this train so check back. To see The Downeaster's dedicated website, click here. For TrainRiders/Northeast, click here.

This page was created on August 5, 2005 and updated March 24 2013.