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Downeaster sells out of seats for some trains over holiday weekend

FILE- In this Dec. 8, 2011 file photo, the Amtrak Downeaster travels through Portland, Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty
/
Associated Press
FILE- In this Dec. 8, 2011 file photo, the Amtrak Downeaster travels through Portland, Maine.

The Downeaster is selling out several of its trips over the holiday weekend, as travelers choose to ride the rails rather than drive.

Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, says reservations are advised.

"Several of our trains were sold out yesterday, several sold out today. We are running four round trips on Thanksgiving Day with hundreds of people already booked on those so we expect it to be a very busy weekend as well," she says. "We're exceeding pre-pandemic levels of ridership. For the last four months, we've had record breaking ridership and revenue months."

Quinn says some travelers are pushing their return home to Monday and Tuesday so that is spreading demand.

AAA projects rail, bus and ship ridership will increase 6.8% this weekend, and plane travel to be up 6.2%. Overall, AAA says 2.5 million New Englanders will travel this weekend.