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August 16, 2017

Amtrak's 'Great Dome' rail car returns to Maine

Courtesy / Amtrak
Courtesy / Amtrak
Amtrak's Great Dome rail car, which made its inaugural visit to Maine last summer, returns to the Downeaster route for a one-month stint starting on Saturday.

Back by popular demand, the only remaining dome car in Amtrak service returns to Maine on Saturday for a month-long stint on the Downeaster route between Brunswick and Boston.

Built in 1955, Amtrak's Great Dome rail car made its inaugural visit to Maine last summer. It originally was used on the Chicago-Seattle Empire Builder Route and was renovated in 1985 for use in daily Amtrak runs between Washington, D.C., and Orlando, Fla. In 1999 it was again refurbished and has been used in various Amtrak services including charters and excursions.

The Great Dome car features an upper level with windows on all sides (including the roof) offering passengers panoramic views of the scenic villages, coastline, marshes, streams and landscapes located all along the Downeaster route.

Seating in the Great Dome car is available at no extra cost, according to a news release from Downeaster, but seats are unreserved and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Downeaster said passengers will be encouraged to rotate in and out of the car to allow as many people as possible to enjoy that unique experience.

The Great Dome car will operate on the following Downeaster trains between Aug. 19 and Sept. 24:

Monday-Friday: Southbound, Train 682 and Train 688; northbound, Train 683 and Train 689.

Saturday: Southbound, Train 692 and Train 696; northbound, Train 693 and Train 697.

Sunday: Southbound, Train 690 and Train 698; northbound, Train 691 and Train 699.

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