PORTLAND, MAINE – The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA) announced today that the temporary suspension of all Amtrak Downeaster passenger rail service, will remain in effect through May 31, 2020, in alignment with the “Stay Safer at Home” Executive Order recently announced by Maine Governor Mills and others travel restrictions imposed in Boston.
NNEPRA is working in partnership with Amtrak, Pan Am Railways and station communities to prepare for the return of service later this spring. Pan Am Railways has expedited a series of track improvement and maintenance projects along the Downeaster corridor to take place this spring to avoid construction-related service interruptions later in the year. This includes the replacement of timbers on the Fore River railroad bridge in Portland, ME, and 15,000 railroad ties in New Hampshire, as well as other grade crossing and surfacing work. (See attached)
Train equipment used in the operation of Downeaster service is undergoing enhanced cleaning, and Amtrak has implemented new cleaning and disinfecting protocols nationwide which will be in place on Downeaster trains when service returns. Stations are being updated with signage and other enhancements to promote public health and physical distancing, and the number of passengers per train will be limited when service returns so riders are able to adhere to CDC physical distancing guidelines.
The public should be advised that railroad tracks are still active. Freight trains will continue to operate, as may some Amtrak trains for mechanical and training purposes. Trespassing on railroad tracks and/or within the railroad right of way is extremely dangerous and against the law.
For additional Amtrak Downeaster information visit: AmtrakDowneaster.com
Natalie A. Bogart