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Amtrak’s Downeaster passenger train service will increase to four the number of round trips it runs between Brunswick and Boston daily starting Monday as the railway begins a staged relaxing of coronavirus restrictions.
The Downeaster will resume onboard food service and the re-opening of some station facilities along its route. No cash sales of tickets will be allowed, and all crew and passengers must wear face masks in stations and aboard trains, which will run at half capacity to allow for social distancing, according to a statement released by the company.
PreCOVID-19, the Downeaster made five daily round-trips between Brunswick and Boston.
The rail service was on a roll when it was suspended due to coronavirus restrictions on April 13. It announced two months before that it broke its ridership record in 2019, when it attracted 574,404 passengers, up nearly 8 percent from the previous year. The service’s previous record was a little less than 550,000, and it was set in 2017. Service officials were also contemplating a host of improvements.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is helping the railroad cover its operating expenses during the pandemic with a $5 million award that it announced last month.