Amtrak’s Downeaster just pulled out of Wells, Maine and I must say the train has improved since I took it several years ago.
Two things jumped out at me on my way to Brunswick, Maine. The conductors were pleasant, chipper even. Amtrak conductors can be a sour lot in my experience. It seems like a new crop has been hired.
Also, the bathroom on my car was spotless and the train was clean even though we’re riding in tired 70s era Amfleet cars. Nothing like overflowing toilets and no hand towels to make a train less than compelling.
I have met two Downeasters and taken one in the past month and all have been 10-15 minutes late, probably because the line is down to one track across the Merrimack in Haverhill while a bridge is repaired. Boston to Portland is also a busy line and this train I estimate is 70% full.
The dusty windows could be cleaned more often and the WiFI could be faster, but those are nits. Adding a dome car to mid September is a nice touch (I am in regular coach.) The uber from home to Haverhill was flawless and the driver was a bartender I knew.
All five Boston to Portland trips will soon terminate in Brunswick, Maine. Only two go the extra 30 miles or north now. Downeaster is healthy. All good. Onto Rockland!
In Saco now. Gotta go and look out the window.