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On Your MARC

News for MARC Commuters


June 29, 2011

  • Reminder: No MARC Train service on July 4th
  • Brunswick Line interlocking update
  • What heat can do to railroad tracks
  • Congratulations to recent CSX and Amtrak retirees
  • Important rules to follow on MARC Trains

This alert can also be accessed here.

Reminder: No MARC Train service on July 4th

There will be no MARC Train Service on Monday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. Penn Line passengers should note that Amtrak trains will not honor MARC weekly or monthly tickets on July 4. Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Brunswick Line interlocking update

Following up on a previous On Your MARC story, CSX is in the final stages of installing the new interlocking (location where trains can change tracks) between Garrett Park and Rockville - specifically, adjacent to the Twinbrook Metrorail Station (pictured). It will be in service by the end of August. In addition, preliminary site preparation is underway further west near Dickerson for the upgrade and improvement to an existing interlocking. These projects will improve operational flexibility on the Brunswick Line.

What heat can do to railroad tracks

Many passengers have asked why CSX issues heat restriction orders. The photo here shows what heat can do to railroad tracks.  Sun kinks can happen quickly and with little notice. The reduced speeds that CSX imposes in high heat conditions are for your safety and give locomotive engineers the ability to stop trains short of track defects. Another question we receive, is why doesn’t Amtrak impose heat-related speed restrictions?  Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor is a heavily-engineered, high speed railroad and not prone to sun kinks. There is also much more frequent, high speed service, which discourages sun kinks from forming. In addition, the Camden and Brunswick Lines have many more curves than the Penn Line does, limiting engineers’ ability to see track defects. It is important to note that this does not mean that CSX tracks are unsafe - CSX maintains its tracks in compliance with all Federal Railroad Administration regulations.

Congratulations to recent CSX and Amtrak retirees

MARC Train staff would like to congratulate several Amtrak and CSX employees who have recently retired. While they did not spend their entire careers in MARC service, we thank them for their service to commuters of Maryland and wish them all the best: Amtrak conductor Donald “Duck” Staples, Trains 409, 408, 439, and 442, 38 years of service; CSX Engineer Ronnie George, Camden Line trains 845, 844, and 852, 41 years of service; CSX Conductor Melvin Liggins, Camden Line trains 845, 844, and 852, 41 years of service; and CSX Conductor David “Ditty” McGowens, Camden Line trains 843, 842, 853, 850, 39 years of service.

Important rules to follow on MARC Trains

To ensure that everyone has a pleasant trip on MARC and pays the valid fare, please abide by the following rules:

  • Passengers must allow conductors, or any authorized representative, to inspect all tickets or cash fare receipts upon request. Tickets may be inspected more than once during a trip. Tickets must be removed from any carrying case if requested by the conductor.
  • Expired, invalid, or counterfeit tickets must be surrendered to the conductor and the appropriate one-way fare paid (except for previous month’s monthly tickets on the first service day of the month).  Passengers without valid tickets are subject to removal from the train.
  • No seats are reserved on MARC trains. Please do not inconvenience others by holding or blocking seats with parcels, items of clothing, etc.
  • Most railcars contain designated seating for senior citizens and passengers with disabilities. These seats must be provided to these persons if requested.

MARC Quick Info Guide

MTA Information

Fare or Schedule Info: 410-539-5000
Toll-free: 866-RIDE-MTA (743-3682)
Commuter Choice Transit Benefits Info: 410-767-8750
Commuter Choice Website:
MTA Police: 410-454-7720
TTY: 410-539-3497
MTA Website:

WMATA Information

Customer Comment Line: 202-637-1328
Fare or Schedule Info: 202-637-7000
SmartBenefits Employer Fare Program: 202-962-1326
SmartBenefits eMail:
Transit Police: 202-962-2121
TTY: 202-638-3780
WMATA Website:

Copyright © 2011 Maryland Transit Administration (MTA)
Expires: July 1, 2011 9:58 AM

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