Crew is ‘Maine’ Attraction on Downeaster

ZackaryZackary is a seasoned Amtrak traveler, and he’s got some good advice for other college students thinking of taking the train back to school this month.

“Definitely do it,” he says.

“The crew makes the whole entire trip,” Zackery says. “When you get on the train, everyone’s always smiling, they’re welcoming every single passenger, and then when they come around for ticket collection, they always make little conversations with people.”

Zackary travels on the Downeaster which runs multiple times a day between Brunswick, Maine, and Boston North Station.

“Definitely get the business class upgrade if you want even more room or a quiet car to study in since it’s only $8 more,” says Zackary, a sophomore at the University of Southern Maine who uses his Student Advantage membership to get cheaper tickets and his Amtrak Guest Rewards membership to earn points toward free train travel.

When Zackary’s on the train between Portland and Boston (about 2.5 hours) he takes advantage of the free WiFi and enjoys the extended legroom onboard. “I love how much space there is on the train,” he says, “and when you take the bus there’s no legroom. Having those few extra inches means the world.”

Even though Zackary’s been riding the Downeaster since eighth grade, he says he’s definitely interested in experiencing another route.

“I would personally love to do a cross-country trip to the west coast,” he says, “possibly San Francisco or Los Angeles because I want to see everything in between. I think by taking the train, you can see more than in a car.”