By Anthony Silva, WBZ NewsRadio 1030 New England Business Editor

BOSTON (CBS) – The train operating between Boston and Portland, Maine has achieved its highest ridership in its 10 year history.

Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority Executive Director Pat Quinn tells me the Downeaster finished its fiscal year with about 528,000 passengers, a 4% increase. She says that’s more than double the ridership of 2005, representing 7 years of steady, consistent growth.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Anthony Silva reports

Quinn thinks it’s about more than just rising gasoline prices. She says that may be one reason customers try the service, but she says they tend to keep those who do. According to Quinn, providing good, reliable, safe transportation is the key.

The trend tracks growing ridership overall for Amtrak, which topped 30 million passengers for the first time last year.

Later this year, two of those daily round trips will extend northward to Freeport and Brunswick, Maine.

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