Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby markhb » Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:45 pm

The Downeaster has introduced the Discover Maine Rail Pass for the summer. It's a 10-ride ticket, valid for 7 days, which can be used between any 2 Maine stations and which only costs $19. Since outside of specific Boston events the train tends to be far less full north of Wells, it seems like a good way to fill extra capacity.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby Rockingham Racer » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:58 am

I am hard pressed to come with a plan to do 10 trips in 7 days.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby markhb » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:19 am

I think the hook is, come up to Maine, stay in OOB for a week, but use the train to go to Freeport for a day, or Portland, or try a different beach in Wells (maybe even a show at the Ogunquit Playhouse if the tourist trolley goes there). If you have two people using the same ticket (not sure if that's allowed) you could use them easily.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby Dick H » Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:13 am

10 rides are one way. So, you can do it in 7 days with five round trips.
As the school year winds down in June, a number of schools take groups
of students to Boston to visit the Aquarium and other venues. #680, #682,
#685 and #687 have been either sold out or close to that all this week so far.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby Cowford » Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:40 pm

Though I think this will have limited appeal, it's smart of NNEPRA to be promoting intrastate Maine travel. The DE ranks near the bottom of Amtrak's performance list (fourth from bottom, to be specific) with regard to average load factor (31%). Given the trains are better patronized the closer you get to Boston, the ALF east of Wells is likely in the low 20s (or, looked at another way, approaching 80% empty, on average). They've got to get creative on filling those seats... and I doubt they expect many riders, if any, would take full advantage of the offer.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby Arborwayfan » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:01 pm

You don't need ten rides to do really well at $19. You would come out ahead with the pass if you just went Wells-Freeport one day and Wells-anyplace the next. Wells-Freeport $7 in the cheap bucket, $12 in the next one, $17 in the flexible bucket. And the flexible bucket is the one to compare, since the ticket is, I assume, good on any train. (When a train is sold out, do passholders and multiride ticket holders get to get on and stand?)

You could also visit two different spots in one day.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby benboston » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:08 pm

Does it include thruway buses?
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby Cosakita18 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:03 pm

Cowford wrote:Though I think this will have limited appeal, it's smart of NNEPRA to be promoting intrastate Maine travel. The DE ranks near the bottom of Amtrak's performance list (fourth from bottom, to be specific) with regard to average load factor (31%). Given the trains are better patronized the closer you get to Boston, the ALF east of Wells is likely in the low 20s (or, looked at another way, approaching 80% empty, on average). They've got to get creative on filling those seats... and I doubt they expect many riders, if any, would take full advantage of the offer.


This really doesn't seem right to me. Besides BON Portland is by far the #1 station on the route by passenger numbers. Every time I've taken the DE south it seems that the train fills to about half capacity in Portland.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby superstar » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:08 am

Cosakita18 wrote:This really doesn't seem right to me. Besides BON Portland is by far the #1 station on the route by passenger numbers. Every time I've taken the DE south it seems that the train fills to about half capacity in Portland.

Portland had 171,257 boardings and alightings in 2017, or about 470 daily. With ten trains daily, and assuming all passengers were boarding southbound and discharging northbound (probably pretty close to the truth), that would work out to about 47 people getting on each southbound and 47 getting off each northbound, on average.

Have I done my math wrong? That seems rather low to me.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby Cowford » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:58 pm

That is correct. By assuming all Freeport/Brunswick passengers ride west of Portland the average load on a train between Portland and OOB grows to 58. If the typical DE runs with four coaches and a snack car, that's 258 seats, I believe. 58/258 = 22.5% LF. The LF east of Portland is 7% (based on 6 trains/day and ATK FY17 ridership).
Last edited by Cowford on Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby swist » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:57 pm

I might point out that statistics can be misleading if you look only at load factor - I would dare to say if you look at the variance/standard deviation you would find it was quite large - the train performs a lot of roles from daily commuters to game-attenders to get-out-of-town on the weekend, all accompanied by a huge difference between weekdays and weekends, and between seasons of the year. I ride those trains a LOT and it is not unusual to have a sold out train immediately followed by a near-empty one even on the same day. In fact if you extrapolated the load factor from the percentage of sold-out or almost sold-out trains, you would get just as misleading a statistic as looking at a pure numeric average of all riders across all trains. I'm not trying to make any particular point here that something is bad or good but just remember the line about there being lies, damn lies, and statistics.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby TRNE » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:19 pm

Kennebunk has given the go-ahead for a seasonal Downeaster stop. More info on our Facebook page. Https://Facebook.com/trainridersnortheast
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:22 pm

Anyone around here know what happened to Mr. O'Keefe?

Did he get deployed?
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby piker » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:51 pm

Mr Norman
I wonder if that isn't him as TRNE above you there.......George, wink or something.
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Re: Amtrak Downeaster Discussion Thread

Postby Rockingham Racer » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:03 am

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Anyone around here know what happened to Mr. O'Keefe?

Did he get deployed?


I sent a PM to one of the moderators 2 or 3 weeks ago, who said s/he'd ask around. No answer. I also checked with another poster on here, and he doesn't know either.
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