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Old 05-01-2012, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,228 posts, read 6,079,633 times
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Default Visting Portland by Train

Hi: I am going to visit Portland sometime over the next few weeks. I will be taking the train up from Boston. I will be depending on the local bus to get around. I am not really sure how far the station is from downtown. I would like to stay someplace somewhat affordable, within easy range and bus connections to both. Thanks
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Cape Elizabeh, ME
312 posts, read 305,139 times
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Here you go this will help. Welcom to Greater Portland METRO Bus it's the bus map. The train station is on route 5 & route 3. On the main route map its just above the label "fore river". As for places to stay that all depends on your budget....but every thing downtown and in the old port is on the bus route but usually on the expensive side. So you might want to focus there, consider a priceline type thing where you quote the price your willing to pay and select downtown as the required location.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Boston
5,296 posts, read 8,874,062 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atrixwolfe View Post
Here you go this will help. Welcom to Greater Portland METRO Bus it's the bus map. The train station is on route 5 & route 3. On the main route map its just above the label "fore river". As for places to stay that all depends on your budget....but every thing downtown and in the old port is on the bus route but usually on the expensive side. So you might want to focus there, consider a priceline type thing where you quote the price your willing to pay and select downtown as the required location.
Good suggestions.

I'd only note that having used Priceline in Portland, there is no option for just downtown. The option that includes downtown also includes the area by the train station, the Congress/St. John area, as well as all of the hotels and motels out on Riverside Street and by the airport (though the Maine Mall hotels, while adjacent to the airport fall into a separate category). So be careful. You're actually more likely to end up out on Riverside Street than you are downtown by using that feature. That's neither near downtown or near the train station.
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,228 posts, read 6,079,633 times
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Thank you both for the info. Yes the hotels do seem to be expensive downtown, but I'll find something. At least the train tickets are cheap. My round trip ticket is only $22.00. I don't see how amtrak makes any money with such cheap fares.
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:31 AM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
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Its simply , the amount of people who take it makes up for the low cost.....the growth in recent years on some lines has been by 80%.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Cape Elizabeh, ME
312 posts, read 305,139 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
Good suggestions.

I'd only note that having used Priceline in Portland, there is no option for just downtown. The option that includes downtown also includes the area by the train station, the Congress/St. John area, as well as all of the hotels and motels out on Riverside Street and by the airport (though the Maine Mall hotels, while adjacent to the airport fall into a separate category). So be careful. You're actually more likely to end up out on Riverside Street than you are downtown by using that feature. That's neither near downtown or near the train station.

Wow I wasn't aware of that thanks for pointing it out! A recent visitor to our company said he used it and it put him in the old port at Portland Regency at a good price. Its possible he clicked on 4 & 5 star hotels which I believe are only in the old port, except for the Marriott out by the Target....but that's still on the bus line.

I personally think the new hampton inn at franklin & middle is really nice and where I'd aim for, but in looking at the prices its a bit pricy for a hampton..although good location & sebago brewing on the 1st floor.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Boston
5,296 posts, read 8,874,062 times
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^That explains it. He must have clicked "4-star hotels." The only 4-star hotel in Portland or the suburbs is the Regency in the Old Port. Hampton, Hilton Garden, Holiday Inn, Eastland, Portland Harbor Hotel, Marriott, etc. are all listed as 3 or 3.5 star hotels. There are no 5 star properties at all in the area. What it is, is a good way to beat the Priceline system in Portland though. If you bid on a 4-star hotel in Portland it will be the Regency 100% of the time. It's a similar story to Providence where the only 4-star hotels are the Westin and Regency. If you bid 4-star you get one or the other (they're about 2 blocks apart).

I work for the Starwood brand of hotels and it's frustrating for us in small cities where one of our hotels is the only "4-star" property in the city. Many people avoid using the common booking avenues and use priceline or hotwire to secure a lower rate since they know they'll be staying at our hotel. But since the Regency is our competition, bid away! If you bid for a 4-star on Priceline and it's accepted, it will be the Regency. You will have a second 4-star in Portland before too long as our Westin brand is taking over and renovating the Eastland. But not quite yet.

The Hampton is nice. Well located too. It's also only about a year old so it's very up to date. The Holiday Inn is downtown too (near the Civic Center). It's a little dated, but rates tend to be lower. If the two are even comparable in terms of price, the Hampton Inn is a FAR better choice. If you're looking for something cheaper, I always found the Inn at St. John to work well. It's not super fancy, but it's comfortable, small and service is good. I guess it's technically a Bed and Breakfast, but it feels more like a small hotel to me. It's also within walking distance of the train station and you can walk to the Old Port from there (it's about a mile, so you can take a bus or a taxi as well). It's not the prettiest part of Portland, but it's not dangerous. The Dogfish Cafe is right next door and it's a good casual lunch or dinner spot. When I lived in that area, we used to take the short walk up to the Western Promenade (next to Maine Med). On a clear day, you can see Mt. Washington in the distance and sunsets are great. There's also a La Quinta about 2 blocks away from the Inn at St. John (on Park Ave), but I don't care for it at all. I actually used to live right next to it so friends and family stayed there sometimes when visiting. It's a bit run down and even more poorly located than the Inn at St. John (across from a dairy plant, Denny's, and an outpatient medical building). Finally, there's a Clarion right next to the train station, but I know nothing about it. Of the three, I would choose Inn at St. John long before I'd take the other two.

All of those choices are better for a traveler without a car than anything out by the airport, mall or along Riverside St. Obviously, if you can swing it... the downtown options are the best.

Last edited by lrfox; 05-04-2012 at 12:41 PM..
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:43 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,476 posts, read 5,600,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimrob1 View Post
Thank you both for the info. Yes the hotels do seem to be expensive downtown, but I'll find something. At least the train tickets are cheap. My round trip ticket is only $22.00. I don't see how amtrak makes any money with such cheap fares.
They don't. Amtrak has never turned a profit. Only the NE Corridor line (Boston to Washington) earns money. Taxes (federal and/or state, depending on the line) subsidizes service on the other lines.

Not complaining, just saying.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:54 PM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
12,329 posts, read 12,798,295 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
They don't. Amtrak has never turned a profit. Only the NE Corridor line (Boston to Washington) earns money. Taxes (federal and/or state, depending on the line) subsidizes service on the other lines.

Not complaining, just saying.
Actually all Northeastern routes run near profit....and alot of lines are approaching profitability due record ridership on all lines.
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:39 PM
 
Location: on a dirt road in Waitsfield,Vermont
2,180 posts, read 4,073,873 times
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I took the Downeaster a couple of times for concerts at the TD Banknorth Center. The train station is actually in the building so it's worth the many stops and 4 hour ride. The Downeaster is one of the most successful routes for Amtrak. Everytime I looked over at the Portland Station driving by on I295 the parking always looks full.
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