- Amtrak Downeaster is a modern, efficient, and safe mode of transportation that allows travelers to experience the beauty of New England from the comfort of a luxurious train.
- The train operates daily, is cheaper than flying, and is faster than car and bus travel due to no traffic.
- The train travels between several U.S. cities in the northeast, with Brunswick, Maine being the most well-known station. It also stops at other cities in Maine and other New England states, providing opportunities for exploration.
New travelers have many questions about using Amtrak Downeaster for trips through New England. Most adventurers hear about travel using airplanes and buses, but most people think trains are a thing of the past. However, Amtrak is a fully modern, highly efficient, and safe mode of transportation that allows people to experience the beauty of nature from the comfort of a train car.
These trains operate daily, cost much less than a flight, and are quicker than car and bus travel since there’s no traffic. These are the most important things to know about Amtrak Downeaster, New England’s most scenic train.
What Is Amtrak Downeaster?
Downeaster bound for Portland, Maine passing though Ballardvale, Andover, Massachusetts
Amtrak, Downeaster, provides daily travel between several U.S. cities of the northeast. There are several stations along its route, but Brunswick, Maine, is by far the most well-known. The Brunswick station is the furthest north Amtrak hub in Maine, although the train has five other stations in the state. The other stations include Wells, Saco, Portland, Old Orchard Beach, and Freeport.
Amtrak, Downeaster, did not always own and operate the route these trains travel today. Prior to Amtrak’s presence in the northeast, passengers would ride the Pine Tree and Flying Yankee between Bangor and Boston.
- Tips for Riding Amtrak: Arrive thirty to forty minutes before travel, not hours before, as with air travel.
- Places to See When Riding Amtrak, Downeaster: Check out Fenway Park in Boston to see the local’s famous sports team.
Where Does Amtrak Downeaster Travel?
Park Street Church In Boston
Amtrak, Downeaster, is one of the primary connections between Brunswick and Boston. For most travelers, this approximately three-hour ride is a great way to reach Boston, a city with some of the most beautiful streets and local scenery. However, Amtrak, Downeaster, is also a great way to travel throughout Maine and several other New England states.
The Downeaster also travels to Dover, Durham, and Exeter, New Hampshire. It also takes guests to several other cities in Massachusetts outside of Boston, including Haverhill and Woburn.
- Tips for Riding Amtrak: Tourists should keep valuables with them.
- Places to See When Riding Amtrak, Downeaster: The Children’s Museum is within walking distance of Dover’s station.
What Is It Like To Travel On The Amtrak Downeaster?
An Amtrak ACS64 traveling past Princeton Junction, West Windsor Township, New Jersey, USA
Amtrak’s trains are more luxurious and comfortable than other travel methods, like airplanes and buses. These trains are fairly uniform, meaning tourists can expect similar set-ups and available amenities no matter which train station it departs.
The seats are spacious and offer good views of the surrounding landscape. Travelers on the Downeaster can expect to see vibrant views of New England’s landscape, including excellent glimpses of the fall foliage in New England’s mountains.
Amtrak trains come with WiFi and leg rests for long trips. Although travel between Brunswick and Boston is not long for travelers wishing for some sleep, Amtrak offers roomettes for those wanting to kick back and rest.
- Tips for Riding Amtrak: Wear comfortable clothing to add to the overall enjoyment of the trip.
- Places to See When Riding Amtrak, Downeaster: Thompson’s Point is within walking distance of the Portland station, which is a hot spot for special events.
How Long Are Most Amtrak Downeaster Rides?
The Stanley Brook Bridge surrounded by fall foliage and autumn colors in Acadia National Park, Maine, USA
While travel times vary, most trips between Brunswick and Boston take three hours and twenty minutes. However, the trip is much shorter for travelers hoping to disembark before Boston.
Travel from Brunswick to Freeport takes around fifteen minutes. However, some travelers choose to use Amtrak Downeaster to explore New England, so many are not in a rush.
- Tips for Riding Amtrak: Bring snacks and beverages to save money.
- Places to See When Riding Amtrak, Downeaster: Local restaurants close to Exeter’s station and small museums.
What Cities Are Most Popular To Visit Via Amtrak Downeaster?
Aerial view of fall foliage and autumn colors in Downtown Dover, NH, New Hampshire, USA
Most travelers use the Downeaster train to travel between Brunswick and Boston. This gives passengers a wonderful glimpse at the 12 unique stations and cities along its path.
Each city on its route is worth visiting for different reasons. Travelers appreciate the trip to Boston because of the views of New England along the way and the excitement promised in the big city.
However, tourists should also check cities like Freeport, Saco, and Dover when possible. Saco and Freeport have excellent shopping experiences, including the famous clothes outlet LL. Bean in Freeport. Dover is ideal for nature lovers, with the nature trail near the train station.
- Tips for Riding Amtrak: Always be friendly to the staff, and never insult or harass them.
- Places to See When Riding Amtrak, Downeaster: Explore the local Maine shoreline and beaches near Old Orchard Beach station.
Is Amtrak Downeaster Safe?
All of Amtrak’s trains have an excellent safety rating, beating out most other popular methods of ground travel. These trains also have their own police force, known as the Amtrak Police. Many of these police patrol the tracks where Amtrak trains travel and safeguard the stations. Several officers also ride the trains undercover in case any issues arise.
Tourists should keep their valuables close to them rather than placing them in storage compartments. This is one of the best ways to prevent theft of valuable items.
Women traveling alone should also take precautions, especially after leaving the stations at night.
- Tips for Riding Amtrak: Solo women travelers should avoid traveling at night in large cities like Boston.
- Places to See When Riding Amtrak, Downeaster: Drop by Bellamy River Wildlife Management Area near Dover, New Hampshire, for stunning nature views.
Is Amtrak Downeaster Environmentally Friendly?
Amtrak is one of the most environmentally friendly systems of travel in the U.S. While many Amtrak trains still use diesel fuel, this mode of transportation beats cars, airplanes, trucks, and buses for its sustainability rating.
Amtrak is also actively investing in research and development to continue improving Amtrak’s overall environmental rating, including looking for ways to add more biofuels to their fleet engines.
- Tips for Riding Amtrak: Enjoy the train’s quiet and bring a favorite novel.
- Places to See When Riding Amtrak, Downeaster: Stop by the Public Garden of Boston for free.
Are Any Amtrak Downeaster Rides Overnight?
Boston’s Skyline At Night.
The longest train ride with Amtrak Downeaster is approximately three and a half hours long between Brunswick and Boston. This means there’s really no room for an overnight ride, although some trains depart Brunswick in the evening. Amtrak Downeaster does offer a special Event Nite Train.
This train schedules departures in Boston during special local events, like big concerts and home games for the local baseball team, the Boston Red Sox.
This special event train is not an overnight ride but travels mostly at night. Most train rides with Amtrak Downeaster last less than an hour, but it offers incredible views of New England in a luxurious environment.
- Tips for Riding Amtrak: Bring cameras to photograph the beautiful New England landscape.
- Places to See When Riding Amtrak, Downeaster: Visit the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston while journeying through the region.
How Much Do Tickets Cost For Amtrak Downeaster?
Seats on an Amtrak Acela Express train
Traveling with Amtrak Downeaster is remarkably affordable, especially compared to air travel. While prices vary, according to the website’s Fare Finder tool, a round trip between Brunswick and Boston costs around $60.00. One-way trips between Brunswick and Boston cost around $30.00.
Round trips between Brunswick and Saco only cost around $12.00, and one-way trips cost around $6.00. Tourists hoping to estimate the cost of their trip should use the Fare Finder tool on Amtrak’s website.
- Tips for Riding Amtrak: Use a checklist to avoid forgetting important items, like a photo ID.
- Places to See When Riding Amtrak, Downeaster: Visit Bowdoin College near Brunswick’s station.
How Do You Buy Tickets For Amtrak Downeaster?
A restored narrow gauge steam engine that takes riders on a short scenic ride along the Portland, Maine harbor
Buying tickets directly from Downeaster’s website is the easiest way to buy tickets for Amtrak. The website also lists their trains, train departure times, and estimated arrival times. They also have online specials and discounts, which travelers can apply at checkout. This includes a 50% discount for senior tourists, BOGO discounts for multiple travelers, and 50% off for children.
- Tips for Riding Amtrak: Limit carry-on bags to avoid making leg space cramped and uncomfortable.
- Places to See When Riding Amtrak, Downeaster: Merrimack River sits close to Haverhill’s station and is a great location to see wildlife.
Amtrak offers some fantastic routes and can take adventurers to dozens of locations. The Downeaster routes cut through New England’s gorgeous mountains and woodlands, making it one of the best trips for sightseers. This is especially true for autumn when the fall foliage paints the landscape orange, yellow, and red.