PORTLAND, Maine – The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA) which manages the Amtrak Downeaster passenger rail service, is introducing a rail pass to make it easier and more economical to discover Maine by train. The Discover Maine Rail Pass, launched this week, is valid for 10 one-way trips on the Amtrak Downeaster between any Maine station within a 7-day period for an introductory price of $19 per person. The pass is designed to encourage car-free travel within the state and highlight the popular Maine destinations served by the Downeaster.
“The Downeaster stops in so many great and walkable destinations like, Freeport, Old Orchard Beach, Saco, and Brunswick. And there’s a trolley from the Wells station to southern Maine beaches. This pass gives locals, as well as visitors spending multiple nights in the area, the flexibility to travel without the hassle and expense of driving and parking,” said Marketing Director, Natalie Bogart. Although the Pass is being promoted to tourists at hotels, B&B’s and campgrounds along the Downeaster corridor, it is available through all of Amtrak’s distribution channels including online, mobile app, station ticketing kiosks and call center.
According to Lynn Tillotson, President & CEO of Visit Portland, “We’re so excited about this pass and hope it will encourage visitors and locals from nearby communities to come to Portland without having to drive. With so many attractions now located near the station on Thompson’s Point, and a quick METRO bus connection available to Hadlock Field, the Museum of Art, downtown Portland and the Eastern Promenade, it’s so easy to visit Portland – car free!”
Old Orchard Beach Chamber director Kimberly Verreault hopes that the new Rail Pass will not only bring more day-trippers to Old Orchard by train, but “will make staying in Old Orchard for multiple days more appealing by making it so convenient to visit other attractions and communities without having to drive or find parking.”
The Discover Maine Pass is being introduced as the Amtrak Downeaster is experiencing great success, breaking ridership records in 8 of the past 12 months and revenue records in 10 of the past 12 months. The Downeaster serves 12 communities from Brunswick, ME to Boston, MA, with most passengers travelling to or from Boston. NNEPRA hopes that increasing traffic congestion and parking challenges in southern Maine, combined with rising gas prices will make this Pass a timely alternative for both tourists and residents, and further optimize Downeaster efficiency by turning over available seating capacity.
Amtrak offers a more comfortable and convenient travel experience with free Wi-Fi on most trains, plenty of leg room and no middle seat. With our state and commuter partners, we move people, the economy and the nation forward, carrying more than 30 million Amtrak customers for each of the past seven years. Amtrak operates more than 300 trains daily, connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces, and reaches 400 additional destinations via connecting bus routes. Learn more at Amtrak.com.
About the Amtrak Downeaster
The Amtrak Downeaster makes five round-trips daily between Portland, ME and Boston, MA with three trips each day extending to Freeport and Brunswick, ME. The service is operated by Amtrak under contract to the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority.