BRUNSWICK, Maine — Amtrak’s Downeaster service has been suspended since April 13 due to the coronavirus but will resume limited service beginning on June 15 as it enters the first phase of its “Restoration Plan.”
Service will resume with one round trip on weekdays only between Brunswick and Boston: southbound Train 680 and northbound Train 685.
The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA) says several new protocols and procedures have been implemented to protect the health and safety of passengers and crews.
- New cleaning and disinfecting protocols and train equipment used in Downeaster service will undergo enhanced cleaning before and after each trip
- Crews and passengers will be required to wear face-covering while boarding and moving about the train
- The number of passengers per train will be limited to no more than 50% of available seating capacity so riders are able to adhere to physical distancing guidelines
- Advance reservations are required, and cash sales will not be accepted
- Station facilities will not be open; passengers should go directly to the outdoor platform to wait for their train
- Café service will not be available, however, complimentary water will be available upon request
- Stations are being updated with signage and other enhancements to promote public health and physical distancing
RELATED: UPDATE: Amtrak Downeaster temporarily suspending service due to coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic
Service is expected to increase throughout the summer months, but no date has been set for subsequent phases. The NNEPRA Board of Directors plans to meet later this month to evaluate the potential for adding more daily trips.
Amtrak says it is waiving change fees for reservations made before August 31, 2020.
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. The schedule for Train 680 has been modified slightly to adjust for construction-related delays. Passengers on traveling on Train 685 to stations north of Haverhill should expect delays of approximately 15 minutes.
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