• MARC Extra/Weekend Service

  • 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 CentralValleyRail
 
Any word on when MARC is going to initiate weekend service on the PENN Line? Also any word on any additional trains starting up?
  by realtype
 
Probably not any time soon (i.e. at least not before 2011). The original reason they didn't start weekend service was because of labor issues with Amtrak. Also, the state still has a deep budget deficit and is continually cutting or declining to increase funds to it's departments and agencies such as the MTA so that's probably the biggest reason now. I highly doubt MARC will add any more trains anytime soon, especially after all the cuts last year. They already cut a reverse flow morning train and a late night train on the Penn Line, although if you asked me the late night schedule looks more practical now. MARC has decided to operate on Veterans Day though (S schedule on Penn and Brunswick Lines; no service on Camden Line) which was a holiday they cut last year, more than likely because it is a Wednesday and not a "long weekend" holiday, so this is good news.
  by dt_rt40
 
It's a shame. Especially considering how popular the BWI stop is during the week with airline passengers, I can't believe a weekend service wouldn't be well patronized. I was thinking that a 4 or even 2 car EMU going back and forth between DC & Baltimore would make sense for the smallish but steady volume they'd likely experience. But an Amtrak management guy I happened to meet on a train told me MARC probably wouldn't do that as EMUs have to be inspected more often than passenger cars.
OTOH plenty of airline passengers seem willing to buy Amtrak tickets, I see them boarding or deboarding when I ride Amtraks with my monthly. Maybe they see at as in their interest to discourage MARC Penn from running on the weekends...? It would take quite a cultural shift for it to become something like NJ Transit, where I've left NYP for Trenton at a totally oddball time like 8pm on a Saturday night (too late for most workers, too early for those returning from nightlife or a show) and had the 9 car train be standing room only. And IIRC they run almost every hour even on Saturday. (of course an orange line train to Vienna can be pretty packed too after a nice summer day...and they are serving somewhat overlapping markets as many people get off the NJ transit train in places like Metropark or Newark.)