The Amtrak Downeaster finished its fiscal year with the highest number of passengers since 2014, beating its ridership goals by almost 9 percent.

The passenger train between Boston and Brunswick carried 511,422 passengers in the year that ended June 30, closing in on the record of 518,572 riders set in 2014. Revenue also beat projections, with $8.6 million in ticket sales, a 7 percent bump from last year.

“These results are particularly impressive,” said Patricia Quinn, head of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, in a prepared statement. “Achieving near-record ridership in a year of low fuel prices and construction-related service interruption indicates that the Downeaster has come of age in solidifying a durable and loyal customer base.”

In 2014, when the Downeaster set its passenger record, gas prices averaged about $3.60 per gallon, compared with $2.23 per gallon now, according to the rail authority.

Improved reliability, schedule changes and added trips to Freeport and Brunswick helped add riders in 2016-17, the authority said. The Downeaster service has some of the highest customer satisfaction scores among Amtrak routes in the country.

Peter McGuire can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:

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Twitter: PeteL_McGuire

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