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Updated: February 3, 2020

Amtrak Downeaster reports record ridership in 2019

Passengers boarding an Amtrak train Courtesy / Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority The Amtrak Downeaster saw a record number of riders in 2019, exceeding the previous record set in 2017.

The Amtrak Downeaster train saw a record number of riders in 2019, owing in part to more frequent service to Freeport and Brunswick, the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority announced Friday.

An all-time high of 574,404 passengers rode the Downeaster last year, a 7.8% jump over 2018. That also exceeds the previous record of 546,056 passengers set in 2017.

In 2019, the Amtrak Downeaster experienced record ridership in nine out of 12 months, breaking an all-time monthly record in August of more than 60,000 passengers, according to the rail authority's marketing director, Natalie Bogart.

Besides the addition of two weekday round trips serving Freeport and Brunswick, the rail authority attributes the ridership surge to improved reliability and repeat customers.

The company also cited an Amtrak customer satisfaction score of 90% and said when compared to Amtrak services throughout the country, passengers rank the Downeaster among the top services for friendliness, overall satisfaction and on-board food service.

“These results are particularly impressive," Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority Chairman John Melrose said in a news release.

“We are committed to the continued growth of the Downeaster service and are working hard in 2020 to improve/expand transportation alternatives to further enhance mobility to our citizens and support economic growth for Maine businesses," he added.

Conductor taking tickets inside am Amtrak Downeaster train
Courtesy / Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority
A record number of 60,000 passengers rode the Amtrak Downeaster last August, an all-time monthly record.

The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority is a public transportation authority created in 1995 by Maine lawmakers to develop and provide passenger rail service connecting points in Maine with Boston.

The Amtrak Downeaster runs from Boston to Brunswick. Along the way it makes two stops in Massachusetts, three in New Hampshire and five in Maine. The Maine stops are in Wells, Saco, Old Orchard, Portland and Freeport.

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