Expanded DC/Baltimore Commuter Rail Proposals

Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.

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Expanded DC/Baltimore Commuter Rail Proposals

Postby Sand Box John » Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:48 pm

Came across a couple of links related to expansion of rail transit in Maryland northern Virginia and south central Pennsylvania in the Monumentalcity.net btco.net Tomorrow's Baltimore Transit Forum

Expanded DC/Baltimore Commuter Rail Proposals
Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space: Transit for Howard County and Rethinking Sprawl and Refocusing upon the Core
(howardcountyblog.blogspot.com/2006/07/metro.html)

Speculation on Howard Country proposals related to BRAC...
Howard County Blog
(urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com/2006/10/transit-for-howard-county-and.html)

The fourth map shown on the urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com page caught my attention Beyond DC - Features - Transit (enlarged version).

What the creator of the map probably does not know is that most on the abandoned Pennsylvania Railroad former Chesapeake & Atlantic Railway easements on the eastern shore are still in tact.

The easement between Ocean City and Vienna is still pretty much still in tact with two segment in Salisbury still active and operated by Norfork Southern, Salisbury to Zion Church Road on the east side and a short segment within Salisbury from Mill Street to the Norfork Southern Delmarva north south line. The segment from West Street in Salisbury to the west side of Hebron still has rail in place.

An alignment not following the alignment shown on his map is mostly still in tact between Vienna and Easton, the Vienna to Preston segment of the Vienna to Easton segment still has rail in place with the Herlock to Preston segment still active and operated by the Maryland and Delaware.

Most of the easement between Queenstown and Kent Narrows is still in place.

The easement between Easton and Queenstown by way of Queen Anne is still in tact with rail still in place between Easton and Queen Anne and beyond to Clayton Delaware.

All of the abandoned Pennsylvania Railroad former Chesapeake & Atlantic Railway easements that still have rail in place are property of the Maryland Department of Transportation with the exception of the segment between Herlock and Vienna which I believe is owned by Vienna Power, LLC. NRG Energy that operates the power plant in Vienna.
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Postby CarterB » Thu Jul 05, 2007 3:54 pm

Not sure what value a Kent Narrows to Ocean City rail line would be. Even if the old WB&A and/or B&A were extended back to Annapolis, there would be a cab or bus ride from Parole (Bay Ridge Jct) to a pier somewhere in Annapolis or a pier at Wardour(assuming the rich and powerful NIMBYs in that section of Annapolis would allow it) and a lonnnnnnnnnng ferry ride over to wherever in the Narrows a pier/railhead would be re-established.
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Postby Sand Box John » Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:23 pm

"CarterB"
Not sure what value a Kent Narrows to Ocean City rail line would be. Even if the old WB&A and/or B&A were extended back to Annapolis, there would be a cab or bus ride from Parole (Bay Ridge Jct) to a pier somewhere in Annapolis or a pier at Wardour(assuming the rich and powerful NIMBYs in that section of Annapolis would allow it) and a lonnnnnnnnnng ferry ride over to wherever in the Narrows a pier/railhead would be re-established.


I would tend to agree.

I have dreamed of replacing the two existing William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge spans with a single ten lane double deck seven A framed tower cable stay bridge with single track on each level between the traffic lanes. The four upper level lanes would be express between MD I-97 and the US-50/301 split with no entrances or exits between. The express lanes would have a toll twice that of the local lanes.

The tracks and the express lanes would be elevated over land allowing the track to connect to B&A and travel west along MD US-50 to Bowie where it would divert north to a subway alignment under Annapolis Road to connect to metrorail in New Carrollton.

A different class of rolling stock akin to the LIRR/ Metro north rolling stock would be used for the service. The western terminals for the service would be in Virginia. The southern end of Baltimore Central light rail would be converted to accommodate the service to Baltimore using the same LIRR/ Metro north type rolling stock.
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Postby gprimr1 » Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:36 pm

How about massive upgrades to the NS Sailsburry line so trains go WAS-BAL then BACON, Dover, Rebohbith (possibly by shuttle) Sailsburry, then Berlin where the OC shuttle meets the train. Trainsets would be Amfleet style coaches in MARC paint schemes.

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Re: Expanded DC/Baltimore Commuter Rail Proposals

Postby gokeefe » Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:21 pm

Has WMATA ever been considered as a unified operator of commuter rail lines in Maryland, the District and Virginia?
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Re: Expanded DC/Baltimore Commuter Rail Proposals

Postby STrRedWolf » Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:35 pm

Not really, not in the charter for WMATA. MARC has always been part of MD State Government (ether under the old State Railroad Administration or now Maryland Transit Administration, but always under MDOT). I don't know about VRE but I assume the same.

That said, expanding MARC from DC to Annapolis-Kent Island-Ocean City is an interesting idea... but very expensive. You would have to build track basically along-side US 50, at least two-track, and hook up with NS lines via a bridge. If you're smart, you would put the track for it under vehicle traffic on a new, three-lane (two track) Bay Bridge. Weigh that with all the traffic on the Annapolis/Kent Island area commuter buses (220,230,240,250,260) and you *may* (it's a stretch) have a justification to build the line.

Baltimore to Annapolis... well, that's not quite as simple there. There's probably only one, maybe two commuter bus loads for Baltimore to Annapolis. One trip up, one back. Not quite all that good, and not really justifying laying down more track on the B&A Trail. (That was tried already with the Light Rail, and got killed at Cromwell).
I ride the (MTA Maryland) Penn Line (between Odenton and Baltimore). I used to work for MTA Maryland's IT department, and out of professional courtesy my responses may be limited. Wikimapia is wonderful (for track/interlocking locations)!
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Re: Expanded DC/Baltimore Commuter Rail Proposals

Postby Sand Box John » Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:43 pm

"gokeefe"
Has WMATA ever been considered as a unified operator of commuter rail lines in Maryland, the District and Virginia?


No.

The primary reason why is has to do with the responsibilities as defined in the WMATA compact. (296 KB PDF file)
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Re: Expanded DC/Baltimore Commuter Rail Proposals

Postby jackintosh11 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:34 pm

Given their track (pun not intended) record, I'd say that's a terrible idea, at least at the moment. A single unified operator would be ideal, but not an incompetent one.
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Re: Expanded DC/Baltimore Commuter Rail Proposals

Postby gokeefe » Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:44 pm

Ok so the "zone" as covered by the compact doesn't extend out far enough. Thank you.
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