• MARC Multilevels-Times And Train Numbers

  • 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 CHIP72
 
CentralValleyRail wrote:All this information is great I'm starting to get the pieces together to form a great trip down to DC and the surrounding stations. Once I get down to Baltimore onf Amtrak I'm thinking of taking MARC to DC. Then a ride down to ethier Fredericksburg or Manassas. Maybe stop by there for Lunch. Any good lunch places there?

Then heading back to DC to catch the Brunswick line out to I guess Germantown and catching the bus back to Rockville and metro to DC eventually.

Finally taking the Camden Line up to Baltimore with a possible stop to eat.

Any recommendations for food on the Brunswick Line, Camden Line and Fredericksburg and Manassas?

Thanks again for all your help.

-B.G.
I can't remember the name of the hamburger place that was located in Manassas just north of the train station, but it was pretty good. (They advertise themselves as having the best burgers in Manassas - they were good but I still liked Five Guys better; no shame in that.) When I went to Fredericksburg about a month ago, I walked all the way out to US 1 and ate at a barbeque place (and stupidly got a hamburger - I should have gotten the pork barbeque AT A BARBEQUE PLACE), but it looked like there were some good places to eat in downtown Fredericksburg.

In terms of checking out the towns themselves, if you had to choose either Fredericksburg or Manassas, I'd definitely choose Fredericksburg, just because "old town" Fredericksburg is much bigger than "old town" Manassas; it is also nicer (though Manassas isn't bad). On the other hand, a Fredericksburg trip would take longer (both in terms of travel time and time you'd spend in the town) and cost about twice as much (because you'd have to use Amtrak for the return leg, whereas you could use VRE for both legs of the Manassas trip). Also, Manassas' train station is definitely worth checking out if you like train stations.

Incidentally, I don't think you can do Fredericksburg via VRE (southbound only) and also do the MARC Brunswick Line on the same day, at least if you want to spend a couple hours or more in Fredericksburg. The earliest southbound VRE train to Fredericksburg leaves Union Station around 1 PM. (Excluding one really early westbound train, the same is true with Manassas - first westbound train is around 1 PM.) The VRE Fredericksburg train arrives in Fredericksburg a little before 2:30 PM, and I think the Amtrak train back to DC doesn't arrive until about 7 PM (though there may be one that arrives between 2:30 PM and 7 PM - I'm not sure without looking it up) and gets back to Union Station around 8:30 PM. The last MARC Brunswick Line train leaves Union Station at 7:15 PM. With the VRE Manassas Line, I'm almost definite a trip out to Manassas and back on VRE, plus a trip on the MARC Brunswick Line, is doable in one day.

If you go to Germantown on the MARC Brunswick Line, you'll need to use TWO buses to get back to Shady Grove. I only mention that because I know that although personally I have no problems riding buses, having to ride two separate buses in an unfamiliar area to get to where you are going isn't something most people (including me) feel comfortable doing, just because of the unfamiliarity. At least the Germantown Transit Center is a physical place and not just a sign or bus shelter (which may make a difference). FWIW, though I've been out to the Germantown MARC station location, there isn't too much nearby in the immediate vicinity, unlike in say Gaithersburg or Rockville (if you consider the places on the other side of MD 355 in downtown Rockville to be close by in the latter case).
  by realtype
 
r40slant wrote:Yeah Marc business has gone up so much they were able to cut a evening train. LOL That was stupid (and also forced 1 MARC engineer back to Amtrak bouncing me back to the extra board) The Marc cars are all 110mph.
ps i am finally back on a regular job and at least for now don't have to WORRY about working MARC service.
Well, all commuter rail service has been forced to cut service, even NJT which you frequently cite. To tell the truth that was the most sensible of all the MARC cuts, since they shifted the times around so commuters wouldn't suffer as much (the last train only leaves 30min earlier), although it could have been much worse since they originally planned to cut the last two trains, but didn't thanks to a highly publicized complaint. Anyway, you work for Amtrak and I don't so you would know more about MARC management than I, but it seems that you really have it in for them.


To CentralValleyRail/CHIP72:

One of the buses from Germantown would be the RideOn 100 which is an express non-stop bus running down I-270 and I-370 to Shady Grove Metro station (which I-370 ends into) every 5-15min depending on when you ride. Plus, you would only spend 5 or so minutes on the 83, since the Transit Center is only a mile or so from the station. So, actually it wouldn't take as long as the 57/61 from Gaithersburg, Metropolitan Grove, or even Washington Grove. The 61 actually serves Germantown MARC station as well, but doesn't drive into the station and stop above the platform like the 83, but stops on MD-118 across the large parking lot near the 7-Eleven.

Anyway, in the interest in time and simplicity your best bet would be a MARC train to Rockville since all MARC trains stop there, you can easily take Metro back downtown, you have more time to get back to take the Camden Line, and their are plenty of places in downtown Rockville (which is very walkable and right across the pedestrian bridge over MD-355 from the Metro/MARC station) to eat. Also, if you don't feel like heading all the way down either of the VRE lines, I suggest taking VRE to Franconia/Springfield (which is 40min on VRE from DC) and taking the Metro back. There may be places to eat there as well.

Okay so here's my suggested itinerary (assuming you go all the way down either of the VRE lines):

-MARC 415 dep Balt. 7:40am/arv DC 8:36am (this is the 9 car bilevel train)

Choice 1:
-VRE 301 to Fredericksburg dep DC 12:55pm/ arv F'burg 2:06pm
-Amtrak 80 dep Fredericksburg 3:41pm/arv DC 5:08pm
-Frederick (Br. Line) MARC 892 dep DC 5:15pm/arv Rockville 5:44pm (this was my usual train and is always 4 cars long and should have 1-3 bilevels) OR Martinsburg (Br. Line) MARC 879 dep DC 5:35pm/arv Rville 6:04pm (5 cars with 0-2 bilevels)
-Metro Red Line from Rockville to Union Station (approx. 35 min.)
-Camden MARC 856 dep DC 7:35pm/arv Balt. 8:50 pm (3 cars all single level)

Choice 2:
-Amtrak 51 to Manassas dep DC 11:10/arv Manassas 12:02pm
-VRE 336 dep Manassas 2:51pm/arv DC 3:55pm
-Brunswick MARC 875 dep DC 4:25pm/arv Rville 4:53pm (Warning: 4 out of the 5 cars are gallery cars)
-Metro Red Line from Rockville to Union Station (approx. 35 min.)
-Camden MARC 854 dep DC 6:43pm/arv Balt. 7:58pm OR Camden MARC 856 dep DC 7:35pm/arv Balt. 8:50 pm (both use 3 cars usually all single levels)

I'm assuming that you'll be using the gaps to get food or tour. All VRE trains use gallery cars now, and are of course all diesel powered. The only difference between them is the length which is available here: http://vre.org/service/consist.htm Also, if you parked at Penn Station a Light Rail shuttle can take you from Camden station over to Penn.
  by CentralValleyRail
 
These are great options. I really am not sure which one to do. I'll have to talk it over with my other 2 buddies who will be going.

Also has that new MARC Engine been assigned to a train yet?

Thanks,

-B.G.
  by HokieNav
 
Not yet (that I've seen). I'm sure you'll read about it when someone sees it.
  by Amtrak7
 
Is 406's primary purpose an equipment move anyway? It makes no intermediate stops.