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The Amtrak Downeaster service achieved a record ridership of 574,404 passengers in 2019, a 7.8 percent increase from the previous record ridership set in 2017, the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority announced late last week.The service, which operates from Brunswick, Maine, to Boston, logged record ridership growth in nine out of the 12 months of last year, authority officials said in a press release."August ridership of 60,944 was an all-time record and the first time that Downeaster ridership surpassed 60,000 passengers in a month," said Natalie Bogart, the authority's marketing director.Authority officials attributed the ridership surge to increased frequency to Freeport and Brunswick, improved service reliability and repeat riders."We are committed to the continued growth of the Downeaster service and are working hard in 2020 to improve/expand transportation alternatives to further enhance mobility to our citizens and support economic growth for Maine businesses," said John Melrose, the authority's chairman.