Rider’s Guide FAQ’s
Everything you need to know about planning your trip and riding on the Amtrak Downeaster can be found in the Riders Guide below.
Know Before You Go
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The Amtrak Downeaster is an intercity passenger train that operates daily between Boston, MA and Brunswick, ME. The Downeaster service operates year round, serving 12 stations along the 146 mile route.
Please click Schedules & Fares to see the Amtrak Downeaster train schedule.
Fares vary by train and destination. One-way Value Fares range from $3 to $30. Please click the “Buy Tickets” tab on the top right corner of this website. Enter your travel information as prompted to see train specific fares. Upgrades, deals and discounts may be available.
Yes, the Amtrak Downeaster is a reserved service and reservations are required prior to boarding.
Downeaster passengers, 16 and older, must present a valid photo ID when purchasing tickets and have the photo ID available onboard the train. Passengers under 18 who do not have a photo ID must have an adult, 18 or over, with a valid photo ID to purchase tickets for them. Click here for more information.
Minors under the age of 16 may not travel on the Amtrak Downeaster without an accompanying adult. If the child is 16, they must present a valid photo ID when purchasing tickets and have the photo ID available onboard the train.
Arrive at the station 15 minutes prior to your departure. Please allow extra time if you're parking a car, traveling with a bike or pet, or need special assistance.
There are many convenient ways to make a reservation/buy tickets.
- Online: Please click the “Buy Tickets” tab on the top right corner of this website. Enter your travel information as prompted to see the available train schedules and fares for the reservation you wish to make. Once payment has been received a ticket will be emailed to the address provided. Bring your printed or electronic ticket with you onboard.
- Amtrak App: Available for download here!
- Quik-Trak: Make your reservation and/or print your ticket at the self service ticketing kiosks available at all Amtrak Downeaster stations (except Haverhill).
- Ticket agent: Available only at Portland and Boston North Station during limited hours.
- Call: 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245) and use the automated ticket agent “Julie” to complete your reservation. Once payment has been received a ticket will be emailed to the address provided.
- Onboard: You must make a reservation prior to travel.
A valid photo I.D. is required for travel.
Once you have made your reservation you are in the Amtrak system. You can print a duplicate ticket at a Quik-Trak kiosk or your conductor can look up your reservation using your reservation number or last name.
Yes, here are examples of when cash is accepted:
- At the time of booking with a ticket agent. Ticket agents are available at Portland and Boston North Station only.
- Passengers wishing to pay CASH from any other station can do so by calling Amtrak at 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245) to make a reservation prior to boarding the train. When you speak to the Amtrak agent, indicate you wish to pay for the reservation with cash onboard the train.
- In limited circumstances, a passenger without a prior reservation may board the train and pay cash directly to the conductor. This ability to board without a reservation is subject to availability of seats on that train.
- PLEASE NOTE: Only the full, undiscounted, unrestricted fare will be available for purchase onboard the train. This is regardless of reservations made or fares previously quoted by ticket agents, Amtrak.com or elsewhere. Higher fares usually apply when purchasing onboard the train.
Amtrak has implemented new cleaning and disinfecting protocols nationwide. The train equipment used in Downeaster service is sanitized nightly and undergoes enhanced cleaning before and after each round-trip.
For more information, please visit: https://www.amtrak.com/coronavirus
While Amtrak passengers and employees are no longer required to wear masks while on board trains or in stations, masks are welcome and remain an important preventive measure against COVID-19. Anyone needing or choosing to wear one is encouraged to do so.
All trains are equipped with onboard filtration systems with a fresh air exchange rate every 4-5 minutes.
Yes. All trains and train platforms have hand sanitizer dispensers. Bathrooms on board trains provide hot water and foaming soap for washing hands.
Some Downeaster stations and amenities may not be available. Visit Stations for more information.
Yes. You are welcome to purchase food in the Downeaster Café and eat at the table seating in the Downeaster cafe or bring it back to your seat to consume. Enhanced cleaning and service protocols include Plexiglass partitions in the service area, removal of all “grab and go items” and touchless payment options (with credit card).
We are currently piloting a program of at-seat service where the cafe attendant will come through the train and offer to take your order and deliver it to you.
Yes. Make your reservation online or via the Amtrak mobile app and the conductor will scan your ticket from your mobile device. While onboard you can walk between train cars, opening the doors with a foot activated button. When entering or leaving the train, the doors will be opened for you by the crew.
Saver Fares are the lowest available fares and require a 7-day advance purchase. Saver Fares are limited in availability and discounts/promotions typically don’t apply to this fare type.
Value Fares are available on all trains on all days and offer serval change and refund options. Discounts/promotions can be applied to this fare type.
Flexible Fares are available on all trains on all days and are fully refundable without any change or cancellation fees. Discounts/promotions typically don’t apply to this fare type.
Business Class offers an enhanced travel experience including extra legroom and complimentary non-alcoholic beverage. All Business Class seats are in a dedicated section of the train. Business Fares are an additional $5 - $10 depending on your itinerary and available on all trains on all days and are refundable without any change or cancellation fees prior to the train’s departure. Discounts/promotions typically don’t apply to this fare type.
Multi-Ride Passes are priced even lower than regular fares and far less than the cost of driving. Multi-ride Pass prices vary by destination, and pass type. Click here and enter your travel information as prompted to see multi-ride fares.
A nominal bicycle fee of $3 to $8 applies.
The fare to bring a small dog or cat (20lbs or less) is $29.00 one-way.
Onboard the Amtrak Downeaster, you will enjoy comfortable reclining seats with lots of legroom, free wi-fi, electrical outlets, fold-down trays and overhead reading lights at every seat. Each coach features oversized windows and at least one set of 4-seat chairs which allow family and friends to enjoy the trip together. The Downeaster Cafe is available on every train. There’s also plenty of space for luggage, and restrooms are located in every car, on every train.
Yes, business class passengers enjoy fully reclining, extra-spacious leather seating and a non-alcoholic beverage served to your seat for just an additional $5 - $10 depending on your itinerary. Please click the “Buy Tickets” tab on the top right corner of this website. Enter your travel information as prompted and select "premium/business class".
The Downeaster Café is located on every train and has snacks, light meals, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages available for purchase. Major credit cards are accepted. Café Menu
Passengers are welcome to bring their own food onboard to enjoy at their seat. The Downeaster Café tables are reserved for Café patrons only.
Passengers are not permitted to consume their private stock of alcoholic beverages on Amtrak Downeaster trains, however a variety of alcoholic beverages are available for purchase in the Downeaster Café. Café Menu
All Amtrak Downeaster trains are equipped with outlets at every seat to plug in your electronic devices.
Yes. It is easy to stay connected while en route to your destination. All Downeaster trains feature free wireless internet.
All Amtrak Downeaster trains welcome passengers with disabilities. Our trains and stations are wheelchair-accessible and service animals are allowed. Click here for more information.
Schedules and other information is available in alternative formats upon request. Contact Amtrak at 1-800-USA-RAIL / 1-800-872-7245 or 1-800-523-6590 (TTY) to request information in an alternative format. Interpreter services are available by request. For more information click here.
There is ample room for luggage onboard the Amtrak Downeaster. Each passenger may carry on two suitcases (up to 50lbs) and two personal items (up to 25lbs). Please click here to view Amtrak's Baggage Policies.
Firearms and ammunition are prohibited on all Amtrak Downeaster trains.
Checked bag service is not available on Amtrak Downeaster trains.
Small dogs and cats (20lbs or less) are permitted on Downeaster Trains in a pet carrier. Pet reservations are required and can be made online, at a staffed station or by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL / 1-800-872-7245. The fare for pets is $29.00 one-way. Passengers traveling with pets must sign a pet waiver available from the train crew. For more information click here.
Bikes are accepted from all Downeaster stations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Luggage racks that convert to bike racks make it easy to roll standard full-sized bikes on board from any Downeaster station, then secure and store them on the train. Please note: the front wheel must be removed.
- Bicycle space is limited to four per train and advance-reservations are required for the passenger and the bicycle.
- Passengers traveling with bikes are encouraged to arrive at the station at least 15 minutes prior to departure.
- All panniers and bags attached to your bicycle need to be removed and consolidated before boarding.
You can track your train’s status by using the Train Status tab above or by downloading the Amtrak App to your phone.
You can also sign up for Amtrak text or email alerts online by clicking here.
Information regarding major service disruptions will be posted as an alert at the top of the Amtrak Downeaster website.
Refunds on Multi-ride passes (monthly, 10-Ride and 6-Tix) vary. Please click here for more information.