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Amtrak Downeaster Boston-Portland

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New schedule shaves travel time between Portland and Boston

April 25, 2005

PORTLAND, Maine --Amtrak's Downeaster began operating on a new schedule Monday that shaves 10 to 15 minutes off the travel time between Portland and Boston, a change that rail advocates say was necessary to make the train competitive with buses.

The Downeaster is benefiting from track improvements in Kennebunk, faster station stops and schedule adjustments made by the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, Patricia Douglas of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority said Monday.

Last year's lifting of the train's top speed to 79 mph shaved 3 minutes off the Portland-to-Boston transit time, and Monday's changes will shave off another 10 to 12 minutes.

Riding the train from Portland to Boston now takes 2 hours and 30 minutes, compared to 2 hours and 45 minutes before the changes, Douglas said.

Continue reading at: Boston.com

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Sounds like good news to me. I've taken the train down 2 times and will be traveling on it once more next week. It might not be as fast as the bus, but it's much more of an experience. Also, it's better for larger groups of people traveling together or for people who would like to get on or off somewhere between Portland and Boston.

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It might not be as fast as the bus, but it's much more of an experience.

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It's not as subject to summer traffic as the bus. The bus can often get tied up in beach traffic, and the last part from 128 into Boston is always a coin toss if the driver is going to try 93 or Route 1. And of course the train is much more attractive to tourists, someone spending a week in Boston would be much more likely to take the train for a night in Portland or OOB than the bus.

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I much prefer riding the train when my schedule allows. The seats are more comfortable, the ride smoother. I just wich it traveled more frequenly.

Another great deal for the train going on now. If you bring between 3 and six people on the train, the first two pay full price, and everyone else gets 90 percent off. Check it out at Amtrak for details.

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When I lived in Boston, I often wished for train service to Portland. I would have happily gone up to Portland much more often if a train had been available. This is great news for the entire region.

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This makes moving to Portland that much more attractive. Nice.

I was all excited about the Downeaster when I moved to Portland in 1993, I think it actually started running in 2000(?). I'd already moved back to Boston then on to New York by then. :lol:

Now that its finally running its a huge positive for living in Portland. It doesn't only give you access to Boston, but the ability to day trip to places on the coast like Old Orchard Beach.

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