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Home > Archives > Downeaster train in the snow, 2016.

Downeaster train in the snow, 2016.

Color digital image showing a Downeaster (Boston-Brunswick) train in a snowy landscape; image dates to December 16, 2016.

<i>Downeaster</i> train in the snow, 2016.

The inauguration of the Downeaster on December 15, 2001 was the result of two decades of work by passenger rail advocates; the service was the first to operate between Maine and Boston since 1965. The Downeaster is financed primarily through funds made available by the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, which was created in 1995 by the Maine legislature to develop and provide passenger rail service between Maine and Boston and points within Maine.

Visible here, with a festive holiday wreath on its nose, is non-powered control unit (NPCU) No. 90224. This NPCU was rebuilt from a F40PH locomotive that had reached the end of its useful life. NPCUs are used in push-pull service because they can control a locomotive and therefore allow a train to operate in either direction without having to turn around at the end of a run. They also provide head-end power for the lights and HVAC systems onboard the train. The Downeaster generally employs Amfleet I cars, also shown in this image. First introduced in 1975, they are noted for their tubular bodies and ridged stainless steel fluting.

Photographer: Chuck Gomez for Amtrak. From the Amtrak Corporate Collection.