2016-08-12 / Front Page

NNEPRA brings a room with a view

Great Dome Car offers a look outside
BY DOUGLAS MCINTIRE
Times Record Staff


THE AMTRAK GREAT DOME CAR will be ser ving on the Downeaster line Aug. 13 through Sept. 18, offering panoramic views of the countryside. 
BOB JOHNSON PHOTO THE AMTRAK GREAT DOME CAR will be ser ving on the Downeaster line Aug. 13 through Sept. 18, offering panoramic views of the countryside. BOB JOHNSON PHOTO BRUNSWICK

Amtrak is bringing its Great Dome Car to Maine so Downeaster passengers can catch a whole new view on their trip.

The special dome, built in 1955, will offer passengers a panoramic view between Aug. 13 and Sept. 18, making four trips a day. It’s elevated second-level should make views of woods, rivers and coastal villages even better.

The upper level has table seating so passengers can relax and enjoy a very different perspective of Northern New England, according to Patricia Quinn of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority.

The Great Dome Car is typically used on Amtrak trains on the west coast, and recently spent some time in Michigan.

Quinn said the Great Dome makes occasional trips around the country for special promotional trips and each year, it comes to the east and is on the Adirondack service during foliage season.

Although the car makes it to the Northeast region for leaf peepers, Quinn said it has never been to Maine. NNEPRA requested and was granted use of the bi-level car ahead of the foliage this year for its Downeaster passengers.

“We expect that the Dome will provide Downeaster passengers with a very unique travel experience,” Quinn said.

It’s news NNEPRA had been waiting for since June however, with extra height comes extra caution. Quinn said crews were out diligently measuring to make sure all overhead structures along the way would accommodate the dome.

The seats in the upper level of the dome car are available at no extra cost, but they are unreserved and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Passengers will be encouraged to rotate in and out of the Great Dome car to allow all passengers the ability to enjoy this unique experience.

The Great Dome rail car will be on Downeaster southbound Train 682 and Train 686 each weekday and Train 690 and Train 698 on weekends. It will also be on Downeaster northbound Train 683 and Train 687 each weekday and on Train 691 and Train 699 on weekends.

dmcintire@timesrecord.com

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