Countdown Begins for Downeaster’s Brunswick-Boston Route


Photo by Michele Stapleton

The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority is working on the final details, readying the Amtrak Downeaster train for service to Brunswick. Patricia Quinn, the executive director of NNEPRA, which oversees the Downeaster, says the train’s expected start date is early November.

The passenger train’s two daily trips between Brunswick and Boston will be scheduled for the mornings and evenings, allowing riders to leave early for either location and be back that same day, Quinn said.

Currently, the Downeaster makes five daily runs between Portland and Boston, and the extended service will include stops in Freeport as well as Brunswick. It’ll be the first time in 52 years that Brunswick has had regular passenger train service, according to the Associated Press.

In the weeks leading up to November, the railroad crews will be completing all the new computerized signaling, building crossings, replacing ties, doing some culvert work and running tests. “We’re getting down to the end,” Quinn said.


  1. I’m as giddy as a little kid waiting for Christmas morning. Bring it on!

  2. How expensive?

  3. Eric Weis '73 says:

    This is fantastic. Arriving in Brunswick in 1969, I missed the train by nine years. But before that, I remember taking a train to camp (Augusta? Portland?) in the late 50s. At Bowdoin in the 70s, it was get in the car or get on a plane in Portland to go anywhere. Trains are a mainstay of Europe, Asia and the rest of the world. It is good that folks will now beat be able to a path to Bowdoin (and LL Bean) without having to use the roads. Good for people, good for the environment, good all around!

  4. According to Amtrak, the fare for service between Boston and Brunswick has not yet been established. The fare between Portland and Boston is $25.

  5. Bayard Livingston says:

    I used to take the train from Boston to Brunswick probably in 1959 when I was a freshman at Bowdoin. You would leave Boston on the Boston &Maine RR which would take you as far as Portland, where you would wait an hour for the Maine Central train to St. John, New Brunswick, Canada which ran through Brunswick. One trip the train left Portland only to grind to a halt south of Freeport where we sat all night waiting for a freight train wreck to be cleared on the tracks ahead. The cars were pre Ww2 and not exactly comfortable in coach. Needless to say classes went on without me the next day. Good luck to the new service. I may take it for old times sake and because I have always been a railroad buff ,as well as a collector of railroad memorabilia I also remember the hand cranked gates which were at the crossing on Maine St.

  6. Jarl-Olof M.G.Floman, 59 says:

    Greetings from Finland!
    My arrival to Bowdoin was in September 1955. I had crossed the Atlantic on a cargo ship, which arrived in Boston, and then I took the train to Brunswick. I don´t remember how long it took(the train was moving quite slowly from Portland to Brunswick), but the memory of the colorful fall landscape is forever staying in my mind. It´s a good thing that the railroad is back and properly modernized, too!
    Best regards,

  7. Ruth Wentzel says:

    When I ride the train for the first time, I will have the spirit of my beloved Ken with me. We were going to take that ride together!

  8. Chowdhury A. Imam, 07 says:

    Its wonderful to see Brunswick getting the long awaited train service. I arrived there in the fall of 2007 and had a hard time finding the Concord Trailways bus from Boston. Miss those wonderful moments at the Quad. Go Bears.

  9. Debra Jayne says:

    I’m so pleased……my son goes to Bowdoin and I am in Boston this next year!

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