Concerned about delays caused by bad weather and infrastructure repairs, the Amtrak Downeaster has released a new train schedule that allows more time between trains.
The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, which oversees the Boston-to-Brunswick line, said Monday that the changes will take effect March 30.
“Downeaster reliability has been declining for the past several months, due in part to weather-related challenges such as mechanical failures, railroad infrastructure malfunctions, and unpredictability of both freight and commuter train operations,” the authority said in a news release. “The harsh winter impacted railroad infrastructure and is likely to further exaggerate the delays typically experienced during the spring thaw. Although railroad maintenance crews will be prepared to address issues as they occur, the impacts are unknown at this time and therefore schedule modifications are being implemented proactively to provide more time between trains so that a delay impacting one train does not cascade into another.”
The most notable changes include the operation of northbound Train 683 to Freeport and Brunswick instead of Train 681. The change means that the northbound train from Boston will arrive in Brunswick at 3 p.m., instead of 12:25 p.m. Also, southbound Train 688/698 will depart Brunswick slightly later, at 6:25 p.m.
Other changes include an adjustment to the Boston departure time of northbound Train 687 from its current 5:40 p.m. time slot to 6:05 p.m., and the seasonal shift of northbound Train 689/699 from an 11 p.m. Boston departure to an 11:20 p.m. departure to accommodate sports fans.
A complete schedule is available on AmtrakDowneaster.com.