Downeaster discussion

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Train Attendant
Jul 6, 2015
Hi, all -

I've never taken the Downeaster. I tried to check availability on Home | Amtrak Downeaster but it redirects me to the Amtrak site with an error message: "No Amtrak service between the stations you selected." I tried Boston North to Nashua, and tried Exeter to Nashua, same error. Do I have to call for reservations on that line? Can I use Amtrak points?
Did there use to be a Thruway service to Nashua? If it's not in service now, why is it on the station list?
If someone can pick you up The closest you can get to Nashua New Hampshire on the train at present is Lowell MA on MBTA commuter rail line which also runs out of North Station. It is about a 20 mile drive.
Nashua is a Thruway station -- you can (for example) buy a ticket to NY Penn which is a thruway segment to Boston and train to NYP.
I would guess the Thruway bus only goes to South Station (BOS) so there is no connection to the Downeaster (BON). Amtrak (maybe this has changed VERY recently) would only sell Thruway tickets as part of a connecting train reservation and there are no connections between South and North stations. Also, I don't think you can buy a ticket from South Station to Back Bay Station (about a mile away) or Rt 128, so the shortest and cheapest ticket you could buy would probably be Thruway Nashua to BOS, any NER to Providence, (which ticket you would throw way), and a completely separate ticket BON to your destination, getting from BOS to BON on your own by subway (Red Line to Orange or Green Line), cab, Uber, or walk about half an hour over Beacon Hill or 45 minutes around Beacon Hill. Kind of stinks. If they has only built the N-S connector as originally planned as part of the Big Dig... Thanks, Charlie.
Thanks, all. But there does seem to be a problem. I looked up the schedule Exeter to Boston North. Then tried to buy a ticket for tomorrow during scheduled service hours and redirectedAmtrak showing this blanked result (tried three different browsers):

Just go to and put in EXR to BON and your date. You should then get a page showing 5 options.
The BON/BOS segment is so important for many trips, in my case TPA-BRK, that it has become my icon. No rail or redcap service is available, only the T, Uber, or walking.


  • BON to BOS.PNG
    BON to BOS.PNG
    310.4 KB · Views: 2
Just go to and put in EXR to BON and your date. You should then get a page showing 5 options.

I'm still getting that blank space on the page. I think it must be a browser issue - I have ad blockers and such enabled and I must be blocking the results.
For schedule and station information I do recommend using (the website of the Northern New England Passenger Authority, which pays Amtrak to run the Downeaster). It has current printable schedules that are easy to read, unlike the Amtrak site, and a lot more detail about parking and services. Alas, when you go to book tickets, it redirects you to the balky Amtrak site.

On the latter, I did search for tickets from Exeter to Boston for tomorrow and initially encountered the same problem as you. But when I tried it again just now, the site did bring up the five departures for tomorrow. So perhaps the Amtrak site was just having problems overnight.

And as others have said, the three NH stations are Exeter, Durham and Dover. Nashua is quite a bit to the west of the route and probably closer to the MBTA commuter rail terminal at Lowell, Mass.
Last edited:
I'll throw out some questions that come to mind-
Do they have any (F40) left on the property, or would they have to go out and buy them?
Using them might lower speed on the corridor trains like the Keystone.
Is it worth it as a stop gap, since the new trainsets (some years out) will have their own cab cars?
Would the monocoque construction of a P40/P42 make it too difficult a job to gut use them as they are displaced by arriving Siemens?
Apologies to the original poster, I saw how they are being used and answered I missed the word "many" There are a couple of groups on the roster, the ones leased to Oregon, not sure what is up with those, the group in the Midwest that had a roll up door cut in to allow use for baggage, nickname "Cabbage" and the ones on the East Coast used on service like the Downeaster. Not sure of the exact number still around, 20 would be a solid guess.
Last edited:
It seems absurd that NH would raise a fuss about this, given how many Mainers load up on alcohol at the NH state store on I-95 before heading home from points south -- and also considering that NH has historically contributed nothing to the train's operation. Ah well, as we used to say in Maine, freeload or die.

In fairness, it looks like after the initial story broke around noontime somebody in the higher levels of state government in NH made some phone calls and a solution will be found.

The company that provides food and beverage service on the Downeaster, NexDine, is top notch and honestly, Amtrak should consider them as a contractor on other routes.
Those living outside of the Northeast US may not know that in New Hampshire, in spite of its libertarian "live free or die" reputation, all liquor is sold from state run stores, like PA and a few other states. Unlike PA they do a good enough job of it that people from MA and ME as noted above will stop in NH to buy liquor and bring it home. So I suppose there is a certain amount of logic in them requiring the Downeaster liquor sales in NH to go through them. It sounds like at least a common sense solution was found in the meantime.