Saturday, July 26, 2014

In case you had plans…..

……that involved the Downeaster this coming week, NNEPRA has been kind enough to post the latest planned train cancellations.  Early enough, we might add, to give you a few days to rework your plans.  You know how these ‘unexpected’ situations can pop-up out of nowhere, so you’ll just have to cope. 

We doubt anyone at the Portland office of NNEPRA is available now to take your calls, so you’re on your own when it comes to knowing what to expect in the coming weeks.


Here are the railroad ‘improvement’ plans for the coming week.

PRIORITY ALERT: Service Interruptions for July 30-31 -due to track maintenance work

Due to necessary track maintenance work the following will occur:

Wednesday (7/30/14) trains 681, 683, 684 and 686 will not operate.  All other trains will operate according to schedule.

Thursday (7/31/14) trains 683, 684 and 686 will not operate.  All other trains will operate according to schedule.

No alternate transportation will be available for these cancelled trains.

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we work to improve the railroad.

At the rate things are going, it looks like they’ll be lucky to get the ‘improving’ done before the freezing temperatures return.  We’re guessing that announcing work plans week by week is part of a ‘marketing plan’ to make it appear that these are simply minor inconveniences.

Competent project management teams would have a plan and a schedule to complete ALL necessary repairs and announce the schedule impacts to finish ALL the work.

But if you complete replacement of one tie before looking one tie ahead, you never do get the big picture, do you?  Maybe the zealots at TrainRiders Northeast could get out on the job and have their volunteers inspect the track and it’s foundation a couple of hundred feet ahead of the repair crews, and report what they find to NNEPRA offices.


Oddly enough, the choo-choo kool-aid chuggers over at TRN have gone dark on their communications activity.  Could it be that they’re having trouble coming up with a suitable commentary on the state of their beloved railroad operation?  Is wishing not enough to make things work?

On a related note, a friend tells us this glowing endorsement of the Downeaster appeared on the Nova Star’s Facebook page.  Don’t you just love ‘social media?’

I had a trip from Portland to Yarmouth booked for July 23. Due to circumstances out of my control (Amtrak's fault), the train arrived in Portland 2 1/2 hours after the ferry left port! THANK YOU Nova Star for being so understanding/courteous and allowing us to reschedule the trip for a later date. GREAT customer service on your part! Being forced to now find a hotel to stay at for the night, Holiday Inn stepped up and offered us a 50% discount on a room. AMTRAK however did not make things right for us. We were offered a voucher for another ride, but needless to say we will not ride Amtrak ever again. Again, THANK YOU NOVA STAR-awesome customer service on your end!!!

You just can’t beat government operated transportation services, can you.  Especially when they’re run by highly awarded, widely acclaimed business and railroad professionals.

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