Downeaster to add trains, cut travel time

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PORTLAND (AP) – The Amtrak Downeaster train will soon be adding new and faster trips between Portland and Boston, train officials announced Monday.

The Downeaster will add a fifth daily round trip on the line beginning Aug. 17.

The addition of a fifth trip had been anticipated following the completion of a $6 million track construction project that has been under way since last fall.

Under the new schedule, the Downeaster will no longer run a bus for its late-night trips on week days, using a train instead.

On weekends, there be five train trips rather than the current four.

The trips also will be five minutes faster than they are now.

The 2-hour trips will be cut to 2 hours and 25 minutes; trips that are now 2 hours and 35 minutes will be cut to 2 hours.

The new schedule is expected to have a positive impact on the train’s ridership, said Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, which manages the train service.

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