The Complete Guide to Amtrak’s Downeaster Train

The Downeaster is a 145-mile (233-kilometer) passenger train operated by Amtrak and monitored by the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA), a Maine state agency. The train, named after Maine’s Down East area, performs five daily round trips from Boston’s North Station to Brunswick, Maine, with 10 intermediate stops.

In fiscal 2023, the Downeaster transported 542,639 passengers, a 22.0% increase over the previous year. In 2018, the train’s ticket revenue was $10.2 million.

Schedule Highlights

  • Every day, there are several trains to pick from.
  • The commute time between Portland and Boston is around 2.5 hours.
  • You can go from Boston to the first Maine station (Wells) in less than two hours. 

Overview of the Downeaster Service

Overview of the Downeaster Service

Imagine catching up with an old buddy who tells you about this cool train ride they took. That’s the vibe we’re going for here. So, let’s dive in!

The Downeaster train is your ticket to a chill journey from the heart of Boston to the calm streets of Brunswick. It’s not just a train; it’s your front-row seat to New England’s charm, with 12 stops that are like little treasures along the way. And guess what? This train rolls out five times a day, so whether you’re an early riser or a night owl, there’s a ride waiting for you.

This train is all about stress-free travel. Forget about traffic jams and honking cars. Instead, think about kicking back and enjoying views that’ll make you want to snap a pic or two. The Downeaster is punctual, so you won’t be left waiting on the platform.

Whether you’re darting off to a meeting or wandering around for fun, the Downeaster is like your reliable friend who’s always on time. It’s perfect for those days when you just want to lean back, relax, and watch the world go by from your window.

Ticketing and Fares

Amtrak Downeaster train
Ticketing and Fares

 How to purchase tickets

To purchase Amtrak Downeaster train tickets, you have a few simple options:

  1. Online Booking:
    • Visit the Amtrak Downeaster website.
    • Click on the “Buy Tickets” tab in the top right corner.
    • Enter your travel information as prompted.
    • Select the appropriate fare class, including “premium/business class” if desired.
  2. Mobile App:
    • Download the Amtrak app on your smartphone.
    • Use the app to purchase tickets with ease.
    • Payment options include credit cards, Apple Pay®, Google Pay™, and PayPal.

For more details, check out the Amtrak Downeaster website or explore the schedule and fares to plan your trip. 

Fare options and pricing

Let’s talk about Amtrak Downeaster Train fare options and prices. 

  1. Value Fares:
  2. Business Class:
    • Feeling fancy? Upgrade to Business Class! Yet the Lucky Flying Laser class bits rails. Under Ride Four were free rides at $12 for extra comfort and legroom.

For more details and to estimate your specific fare, check out the Amtrak Downeaster Schedule & Fares.

Discounts and deals available

Amtrak Downeaster offers a variety of discounts and deals to make your trip more affordable:

  1. Buy One, Get One 50% Off:
    • When you buy a full-fare adult ticket, you can bring a friend along for half price. Perfect for a getaway with a friend!
  2. Medical Care Fare:
    • If you are traveling for medical appointments, you can get a 30% discount on your fare.
  3. Disability / Medicare Discount:
    • Passengers with disabilities or those with Medicare can enjoy a 50% discount.
  4. Children’s Discount:
    • Children aged 2-12 get a 50% discount on tickets, making family trips more budget-friendly.
  5. Senior Discount:
    • Seniors 65+ can travel for half price, which is a sweet deal for exploring new places.
  6. Student Discount:
    • If you’re a student, you can cut your ticket price by 15% and save some money for fun.
  7. Military Discount:
    • Members of the military receive a 10% discount as a thank you for their service.
  8. Multi-Ride Passes:
    • Frequent travelers can save big with multi-ride passes. The more you ride, the more you save!
  9. Group Travel Discounts:
    • Have a group of 15 or more? You’ll get a special discount, so bring your friends or colleagues!
  10. Amtrak Guest Rewards Loyalty Program:
    • Join the loyalty program and earn points for every trip, which you can redeem for free travel and other perks.

To take advantage of these deals, be sure to visit the Deals and Discounts page on the Amtrak Downeaster website and book your trip using the discount code provided. Happy saving and happy travels! 

Stations and Stops

Popular Stops

  • Boston
  • Wells
  • Old Orchard Beach
  • Portland (Maine)


Amtrak Downeaster Routes & Network

Amtrak Downeaster Routes & Network

Amtrak Downeaster’s train network has 105 runs connecting 12 cities and 12 stops. Every day, Amtrak Downeaster operates around 299 train runs. Brunswick and Portland are among the top cities to which Amtrak Downeaster provides the most frequent train service.


CityRouteEarliest trainLatest train
Boston161:30 pm5:15 am
Portland179:18 am8:59 am
Brunswick159:18 am8:59 am
Durham121:30 pm8:39 am
Exeter161:30 pm7:48 am
Saco151:30 pm8:59 am
Wells171:30 pm8:59 am
Dover121:30 pm8:52 am
Old Orchard Beach114:58 pm7:30 am

Most popular Amtrak Downeaster routes

The train from Brunswick to Portland is Amtrak Downeaster’s most popular route. Trips from Boston to Portland and Brunswick to Boston are also quite common. 


RouteDaily TripsDurationPrice
Brunswick to Portland50h 43m$3
Boston to Portland52h 30m$32
Brunswick to Boston53h 20m$25
Durham to Boston51h 25m$15
Saco to Boston52h 10m$19
Boston to Exeter51h 9m$19
Wells to Boston51h 51m$16
Boston to Dover51h 29m$23
Old Orchard Beach to Boston42h 17m$27

Onboard Amenities

When traveling on the Amtrak Downeaster Train, you’ll find many onboard amenities designed to make your trip as comfortable and enjoyable as possible:

Seating options and comfort

Coach Class Seat

Coach class is available on all Amtrak trains and has wide, reclining seats with plenty of legroom, no middle seat option, at-seat trays, reading lamps, and power outlets. There are restrooms in each vehicle. Amtrak Guest Rewards customers who travel in Coach get 2 points per dollar spent.

Business Class Seat

Enjoy the unique benefits of riding in Business Class, a premium, upgraded experience available on most corridor trains across the Amtrak system. Specific characteristics vary per route, but Business Class provides increased legroom, a wide and comfy seat, and a complimentary non-alcoholic beverage (not available in Acela Business Class). Seat selection is available on several routes in the Northeast, making boarding easier and eliminating the guesswork of selecting a seat. Additionally, Business Class travelers earn a 25% bonus on Amtrak Guest Rewards points.

Dining and cafe car offerings

  • The Downeaster Café is available on every train, offering snacks, light meals, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.
  • The cafe proudly offers Maine-made products and other high-quality options to give you a taste of the region.

Accessibility features

  • All Downeaster trains and stations are wheelchair-accessible.
  • Service animals are welcome, and assistance is available for those who need it.
  • Information is provided in alternative formats upon request, ensuring all travelers have access to necessary details.

Travel Tips

Best Time to Travel:

  • The train is scenic year-round, but for the best views, consider traveling during the fall to catch the stunning fall foliage.
  • To avoid crowds, opt for weekday travel or during off-peak hours.

Making the Most of Your Journey:

  • Arrive early at the station, about 30 minutes before departure, to avoid any last-minute rush.
  • Bring along a good book or download some podcasts to enjoy the free WiFi service available on the train.
  • If you’re planning to work or need a quiet environment, consider booking a seat in Business Class for a more tranquil setting.

Short Trips and Day Excursions:

  • For a day trip, consider stops like Old Orchard Beach for some sun and sand, or Freeport for its famous shopping outlets.
  • Brunswick is a great destination for exploring the Androscoggin River Bike Path or the historic Bowdoin College campus.
  • In Portland, you can enjoy the waterfront, visit the Portland Museum of Art, or take a ferry to the Casco Bay Islands.

Remember, the Downeaster offers a relaxing and scenic way to explore the Northeast, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!

Connecting Services

Let’s explore how you can connect to other services when traveling on the Amtrak Downeaster train:

Connecting Services:

  • Amtrak Downester provides a seamless connection to points of interest in New England from Boston to Brunswick, Maine.
  • While the Downeaster itself operates between Boston and Brunswick, you can extend your reach by using Thruway Connecting Services.

Thruway Bus, Van, Taxi, Commuter Train, or Ferry Connections:

  • Amtrak Thruway services offer guaranteed connections to Amtrak trains, increasing your travel options.
  • These services include buses, vans, taxis, passenger trains and ferries.
  • Thruway buses are dedicated to Amtrak passengers, while integrated buses connect you to the Amtrak network on individual carrier schedules.
  • Most routes are served by modern intercity buses with facilities such as toilets, reclining seats and individual lighting.

Exciting Destinations Await:

  • Take a look at some of the places you can explore:
    • Play the riverboat casinos in Shreveport, Louisiana.
    • Hit the links at one of 50 golf courses in Fort Myers, Florida.
    • Visit the American Folk Festival in Bangor, Maine.
    • Take in the majestic Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
    • Try your luck at the tables in Las Vegas, Nevada.
    • Explore the stunning Yosemite with Thruway service at Merced, California.

Why Choose Amtrak?

  • Traveling with Amtrak means giving up gas, motels, tolls, and wear and tear on your car.
  • Pack your bags, book your trip, and let Amtrak take you on your next adventure!

Remember, every ride counts as an Amtrak Guest Rewards member, earning you points toward reward travel and upgrades. So, join the journey and discover the beauty of New England and beyond!

For more details and specific routes, visit the Amtrak Downeaster website or explore Thruway Connecting Services


Do Amtrak Downeaster trains have WiFi?

Yes, Amtrak Downeaster has WiFi on board its trains. While most Amtrak Downeaster journeys will have the stated WiFi, certain trains may not have it and in rural regions, the onboard WiFi may lose its connection. To be sure, we suggest downloading a movie or bringing a book. Amtrak Downeaster WiFi is typically best utilized for email checking, online browsing, and social media; you shouldn’t rely on it to binge-watch your favorite program.

Are there power outlets or USB plugs on the train?

Yes, there are power outlets aboard the Amtrak Downeaster trains. You can usually find one or two outlets each row of seats, so be a considerate traveler and check to see if your seat mate wants to charge their electronics as well. The onboard power outlets allow you to charge both a computer and USB devices using a USB power adapter, which is normally included with most phones and tablets.
Because Amtrak Downeaster may sometimes employ replacement train units, not all journeys are guaranteed to include power outlets. We suggest bringing a power bank to charge your phone for any journeys longer than 2 hours, just in case.

What is Amtrak Downeaster’s schedule?

Amtrak Downeaster typically has 299 scheduled train runs every day. However, the actual departure and arrival hours vary according on the day and route. To get the precise timetable for your journey, utilize the search function on this page.

Can you pick up will-call tickets at the station?

No, Amtrak Downeaster does not provide will-call tickets. Purchase your tickets online and ensure that you have everything you need to board before arriving at the station.

Do you need an ID to get on the train?

Yes, Amtrak Downeaster asks you to submit your ID to a representative before boarding the train. Make sure you have government-issued identification that matches the carrier’s standards. Alternative IDs, such as a college ID, will not work.

Are there bathrooms on Amtrak Downeaster trains?

Yes, there are restrooms aboard Amtrak Downeaster trains. The restrooms are rather basic, with a toilet, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer. Most restrooms do not have running water. Please exercise care and hang on to a rail when using a restroom in a moving vehicle.

Are meals or beverages available?

Amtrak Downeaster offers food to keep you satisfied throughout your journey. Make sure to have a credit card and some cash in case you get hungry.

Do you have to print your Amtrak Downeaster ticket?

Amtrak Downeaster does not need a paper ticket to board the train. Instead, when you make your reservation, you will receive an eTicket via email. You may show the ticketing agent this eTicket on your smartphone as you board.

Does Amtrak Downeaster offer any premium features like extra legroom or movies?

Amtrak Downeaster goes above and above to provide its passengers with top-notch amenities.
Do you find yourself squashed on a standard seat, or do you like having more space to spread out? You’re in fortunate, since Amtrak Downeaster provides extra legroom seats. Because there is no standard for what additional legroom is, the extra space you get may differ across train lines, although having more is usually beneficial.



Amtrak Downeaster website:

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