Rail News

Meet: Brian Beeler II, Downeaster manager of passenger services


Brian Beeler II is the manager of passenger services for the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, aka, the Downeaster. This means he hears the laments (and praise) from regular passengers. About 30 percent of the Downeaster’s customers use monthly passes to commute, mostly to Boston.

Just after the news that ridership on the train is down, due to delays in much-needed work on the tracks – rough winter for everyone – we called Beeler up to talk about commuting via rail and how a guy with a degree in landscape horticulture from the University of Maine ended up riding the rails.

BACKGROUND CHECK: Beeler started working for the Downeaster in 2010. Before that he’d spent a dozen years at the Salmon Falls Nursery in Berwick. He’d worked his way up to general manager, but in 2009 he decided he needed a change. The seasonality of the work was tough; landscapers don’t exactly get a summer vacation. He’d almost completed an MBA at University of New Hampshire, had his first child and had recently lost his father. “Life hands you a few things and you just say, ‘It is time to try something different.’ ” Read the Full Article