PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Amtrak's Downeaster train carried nearly 50 percent more passengers on its expanded Portland-to-Brunswick route than rail officials expected in the first year of the service.
Patricia Quinn, director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, says from the start of the service on Nov. 1, 2012, through Oct. 31 about 52,000 people rode the train between Brunswick and Portland, according to unofficial numbers.
The Portland Press Herald reports that's well above officials' projection of 36,000 but consistent with the Downeaster's ridership growth since it started running between Portland and Boston 12 years ago.
The numbers for the new line show that north of Portland, two-thirds of the passengers boarded in Brunswick, while the rest boarded in Freeport.
Overall, ridership on the Downeaster has increased 123 percent since 2005.