Wayne D., TrainRiders Northeast
It started with an ad Wayne Davis submitted to the newspaper. It asked for anyone interested in seeing passenger rail service come to Portland to attend a meeting held in a local bank on a Tuesday night. Twenty-one people showed and formed the first Board of Directors of TrainRiders Northeast, a group of passenger rail enthusiasts “dedicated to bringing modern and efficient passenger rail service to Northern New England.” Since then, Davis has been not only instrumental in getting passenger rail service to Maine, he helped create the Downeaster’s onboard train host service that warmly welcomes and acts as a resource for guests riding the train, and was the Downeaster’s first Ambassador. Click here to read Wayne's full Ambassador spotlight.
Bob H., Exeter, NH
Bob H. has been an Ambassador for the Amtrak Downeaster service since its inception. As a longtime rail advocate Bob began attending TrainRiders/NE meetings in 1989 as he long wished for the return of passenger rail service to his town. “Seeing the Inaugural Train arrive in Exeter in 2001 was by far the best memory I have of Downeaster”. To this day, Bob remains an active member of the advocacy group that started it all where he currently serves as Vice President for the organization. Along with being a lifelong rail fan, Bob is a retired Special education teacher and has a passion for his community and its rich history.
Thank you, Bob!
Steve P., Dover, NH
Steve P. has been volunteering at the Dover, NH Station for 14 years. Always willing to go above and beyond, Steve once drove a retired couple visiting from Arizona from the Dover station to pick up their rental car over 30 minutes away. Steve says, “Volunteering at the Dover station is truly fulfilling. It is my home away from home. The people I have met and the relationships I have developed over the years will stay with me forever”. Steve also sits on the Board of Directors for TrainRiders/Northeast and Dover Main Street, two organizations he is actively involved in.
Thank you, Steve!
Linda S., Brunswick, ME
Linda S. has been working at the Brunswick Visitor Center since 2010. As a young girl, Linda remembers riding trains with her aunt to Boston to shop and bring fresh flowers back to her mother. To this day, riding the Downeaster elicits those special memories. Linda’s passions are spending time with her family and gardening. During the summer, she often brings hand cut flower to the station for passengers to enjoy. Linda and her husband Karl will be celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary in September. Linda’s favorite part of working at the Visitor Center is greeting passengers and seeing the excitement of first-time train riders.
Thank you, Linda!
Patsy B., Wells, ME
Patsy B. has worked at the Wells Transportation Center for over 12 years. In 2017, Patsy received the George Mitchell Award from NNEPRA for her commitment to the Downeaster service and the community which she says is her favorite memory of being a Downeaster Ambassador. “Patsy is a wonderful person who is full of warm spirits and energy. If you asked anyone about Patsy, they would all highly praise her. Patsy greets everyone as if they are entering her home, she is very welcoming. She is truly the face of the Wells Train Station” says Sally S. Wells Station Manager. For fun, Patsy enjoys going to the theatre with her daughter and granddaughter.
Thank you, Patsy!
Mike D., TrainRiders Northeast
Mike D. has been a train host with TrainRiders Northeast since 2002 and says he fell in love with the Amtrak Downeaster on the first day of service! Mike quickly found a new passion taking photos of the Downeaster trains, and even started his own website AmtrakDowneasterPhotos.com for all to enjoy! Mike says his favorite part of being a Downeaster train host is visiting with passengers and crews, answering questions, and handing out stickers and RR crossing pins to the kids onboard.
Thank you, Mike!
Steve P., Durham, NH
Steve P. has managed the Durham Station as a staff member of UNH since 2001 and says it is a team effort in conjunction with the Dairy Bar Staff. Steve has been as an advocate for the service since the early 90’s and says he loves to travel by train and especially enjoys long-distance rides, he has traveled on trains in 20 countries on 5 continents! Steve’s favorite memory of being a Downeaster Ambassador is the Inaugural run and meeting passengers at the station who have no idea train service to Maine is a relatively new re-invention!
Thank you, Steve!
Joan E., Brunswick, ME
Joan E. has worked at the Brunswick Visitor Center since 2012 and says, “It is a joy to share my love of Brunswick and all the amenities provided here with both visitors and those looking to move to Maine”. Joan moved to Maine in 1988 and worked in the Women’s Unit at a maximum-security prison where she was responsible for the safety and care of the women housed there. Joan says the experience gave her a better understanding of people under difficult circumstances. In her free time, Joan is an avid kayaker and enthusiastically refer visitors to the vast array of State of Maine waters. When not on the water she enjoys gardening, bird watching and spending time with her granddaughter. Thank you, Joan!
Jim O., Brunswick, ME
Jim O. has been a Train Host with TrainRiders NE since 2004. In 2005, he began assisting with the management of the onboard Train Host program and training new ambassadors. When service expanded to Brunswick in 2012, Jim began volunteering in the station working the morning departures. Jim says his favorite Downeaster memory occurs regularly at the grade crossing at Woodfords St. in Portland. In 1971 he lived in an apartment adjacent to the tracks, “I frequently looked out the window and thought how nice it would be if only there were passenger trains on those tracks but secretly thought there was no chance it would ever happen. Now, 49 years later I can ride by on the train, look up at that same window and realize that some dreams do come true.” Thanks, Jim!