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The commuters have created a 'rolling community' on board. No card games have sprung up yet as in more urban settings, but we know each other's names, jobs, cars, and hobbies. We also talk endlessly about the latest issues affecting the safety and growth of our train service.

We may be heard to complain from time to time, but it is usually focused on improving the service or helping conductors to understand our needs.

We've gotten to know the conductors well - their sense of humor or lack thereof; their quirks and strengths; as well as their perspective on riding the train with us. The relationship between the passengers and conductors is key to a pleasant experience. We work on that constantly. 

The commuters account for about 20% of the daily riders with groups and day-trippers accounting for the rest.

The train is predominantly a family experience, particularly during school vacations. There's no more relaxing way to get to Boston than on the train - no fighting traffic on the turnpikes, the Tobin Bridge or at the various tunnels.

Feel free to use the forum where you can exchange your thoughts with others.

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The commuters have created a 'rolling community' on board. No card games have sprung up yet as in more urban settings, but we know each other's names, jobs, cars, and hobbies. We also talk endlessly about the latest issues affecting the safety and growth of our train service.

We may be heard to complain from time to time, but it is usually focused on improving the service or helping conductors to understand our needs.

We've gotten to know the conductors well - their sense of humor or lack thereof; their quirks and strengths; as well as their perspective on riding the train with us. The relationship between the passengers and conductors is key to a pleasant experience. We work on that constantly. 

The commuters account for about 20% of the daily riders with groups and day-trippers accounting for the rest.

The train is predominantly a family experience, particularly during school vacations. There's no more relaxing way to get to Boston than on the train - no fighting traffic on the turnpikes, the Tobin Bridge or at the various tunnels.

Each month we'll profile a Downeaster conductor.  It's not an award for meritorious service - they all work hard - but an opportunity to get to know him or her before getting aboard.

The conductor isn't just a ticket taker...he or she runs the train. Comparing a train to a plane will get you nowhere fast. While the engineer 'drives' the locomotive, the conductor is the "captain" of the train  They do not serve you coffee, but will help those in need to get on and off the train.

They care about your safety, comfort and behavior. Get too rowdy and you'll find yourself all alone on the Saco platform in the middle of a stormy night. If you've fallen asleep, they'll try to remember to wake you up in time for your station (that ticket stub above your seat is the clue).

Therefore, these 'suggestions' from the conductors will help make their job easier. And if they're happy, you'll be too.

  • Buy a ticket in advance - otherwise you'll pay a surcharge or may not get on
  • Get a reservation number from Amtrak (1-800-USA-RAIL) if you can't get to a ticket office
  • Facing seats are for groups or families of 3 or more
  • Keep your feet off the empty seats
  • Keep your bags/computers etc. off the empty seats- they may be needed for passengers
  • Please do not leave papers and other trash behind - use the trash bins


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