• MARC and VRE for a week.

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

Moderators: mtuandrew, therock, Robert Paniagua

  by Scotty Burkhardt
I'm from Chicago and will be in Washington next week. I'm interested in both MARC and VRE's operations. If anybody has info or advise on these roads they would be willing to share, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you in advance.

  by njtmnrrbuff
Check the schedules carefully. Both MARC and VRE do not run that much. There is no weekend service. The line that runs the most is the Penn Line, but only between Washington and Baltimore. Obviously this line uses Amtrak. The Brunswick Line doesn't run so much. I know for a fact that there isn't reverse commuting service. Why don't you ride the Capital Limited from CHI and then you would have covered the entire Brunswich Line. The Camden line has a reverse commute run in the afternoon from Baltimore's Camden Station. By the way, if you take the Penn Line to Balt, you would end up at Penn station, ride the MTA Light rail to Camden Yards Station. There is a line to Fredericksburg Md but no reverse service. Part of that line runs on the Brunswick Line only as far as Pt. of Rocks and you branch off right before that station. MARC uses electrics like AEM7s and HHPs. Diesels consists of GPs. Passenger cars include sumitomo coaches, bilevels, and there might be some former PRR cars out there. Good luck with your trip.

  by octr202
Things to keep in mind:

Both MARC and VRE are Mon-Fri only operations. There is no weekend service.

VRE does have about 4 reverse commute/midday turns on the Manassas line (NS) that you could probably ride. Take a look at the schedule, and you will see which DC departures turn back to Washington at the end of the run in Manassas.

There is an early afternoon train to Fredicksburg on the CSXT (ex-RF&P) line there, but apparently it is a deadhead run back to DC (its train 301 out of DC at 12:55 pm, but there's no comparable return trip). You'd have to take Amtrak back, and its a long wait for Amtk #80 at 3:45 at Fredicksburg.

http://www.vre.orgfor schedules.

VRE I know has a real variety of equipment. Poke around on their site for consist info...you can actually find out what your train is supposed to have before you ride!

MARC is probably only doable on the Penn and Camden Lines. The Penn Line runs roughly hourly all day on weekdays, so there's always return options from Baltimore. Probably best to ride a Camden Line train from DC to Camden Station, Baltimore, and then hop the light rail from Camden to Penn station. The light rail is also an interesting ride, the northern part being ex-Northern Central (PRR) ROW, and the south end is the former Balto. & Annapolis ROW (old interurban). I believe, however, the norh end is currently shut down for double tracking. The south end is still an interesting ride...esp. how the line that was once an interurban is essentially re-creted in modern form (just that it only goes to Glen Burnie, not Annapolis).

Hope you have a good visit there. Also, don't forget that some of the Washington Metro lines parallel railroad lines, and offer good chances to railfan there too.

  by starionwolf
If you can, check Maryland's Transite site for any delays or importaint information.

The Penn line runs between Penn Station, Baltimore towards D.C. in the afternoon and evenings every hour to two hours. Hope this helps.

I don't know about the other lines or VRE. Sorry.