Your Jan. 31 print edition ran a story headlined “City dreams of a bigger train station,” with the subheadline “The current station is maxed out.” This may imply to the casual reader that train passengers have overwhelmed the existing station.

Buried in the story is the fact that Concord Coach Lines is the station’s biggest draw, with 530,000 passengers a year. But rather than report the Downeaster’s Portland station count, you provide the irrelevant data that the Downeaster handles the same number of passengers on its entire route.

Why not report that for fiscal year 2014, the Downeaster’s Portland station count was 178,460, or about 25 percent of total usage?

Not reported is the decline in the Downeaster’s Portland station count. In FY 2012, the Downeaster handled 214,713 passengers at Portland.

But in FY 2013, the first year of Brunswick service, the Portland station count dropped to 190,353. Then in FY 2014, it dropped again to 178,460.

Noteworthy is that over the last two years, the Brunswick and Freeport stations averaged 46,880 total passengers, while Portland’s station count declined by an average of 30,307 passengers. Possibly more than half of the “new” riders at Brunswick and Freeport aren’t new at all, they just aren’t boarding in Portland anymore.

With talk of Downeaster service extended to Auburn, Augusta and even Bangor, perhaps its effect on the Portland station counts should be factored into the need for an enlarged station. Certainly, the statements by Patricia Quinn of Amtrak and Harry Blunt of Concord Coach Lines that the present facility is adequate should be.

Wayne W. Duffett

Portland