Downeaster Looks For A Ridership Rebound As Repair Work Concludes

Jul 23, 2015

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Officials with Amtrak's Downeaster rail service say work is nearly complete on a maintenance project that's led to delays, cancelations and dips in ridership over the summer. 

Since May, crews have been working to replace roughly 22,000 railroad ties along the tracks between New Hampshire’s southern border and Portland, Maine. 

The project has caused hundreds of midday trains to be canceled; others have been delayed, and average daily ridership has dropped by five to six hundred.

Patricia Quinn of the New England Passenger Rail Authority says there are only 7 to 10 days of work left. For New Hampshire riders, that means the only remaining effect is that southbound trains are arriving about 30 minutes late.

“But the travel time between their stations and Boston should be pretty much on time,” Quinn said. “And right now any northbound departure between Boston and Wells is not affected by this construction at all.”

Quinn says the Downeaster is planning a marketing campaign to bring riders back once the repair work is complete.