Filling the MARC-SEPTA gap

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MARC Rider

Apr 5, 2011
Baltimore. MD
Maryland looks at connecting MARC toward Philadelphia and within Baltimore

Looks like our governor has on his desk a bill to require the Maryland transit Administration to "enter good-faith negotiations" about two possible expansions of MARC service: Through-running trains on VRE to Alexandria and extending the Penn Line north to Newark, Del. to meet up with SEPTA trains, thus allowing impecunious travelers with a little extra time on their hands a way to travel by rail between Baltimore and Philadelphia. Currently, you have to ride MARC to Perryville, then take a Cecil County bus to Newark to get the SEPTA train. I was planning on trying this jaunt this spring before Covid-19 put the kibosh on that sort of thing.

Another thing the bill apparently does is authorize MDOT to conduct a study about connecting the Penn Lines and Camden lines, somewhere on the Baltimore end. (The two lines, are, of course, connected at Washington). This might allow some interesting flexibility in configuring regional rail service in the Baltimore area.

Of course, there's no money appropriated in the bill, nor has the governor, who has been slashing state spending to deal with Covid-19, signed this bill yet, so it may be quite a while before this actually happens. But, still, it shows an interest in expanding our local rail service.
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Jul 30, 2019
Interesting to know. Last fall, I looked into ways to take a train from somewhere in the Westminster or Manchester, MD areas to a Caps game in D.C., and the only option was taking lightrail to Balt Penn and then Amtrak or MARC to the game, and then reversing the process afterwards. It added a lot of time to the option of driving, and also would have added long wait times in Baltimore at a sketchy time of night. Cost wasn't an issue, as it wasn't too much more than the parking garage fee at Verizon Center or whatever it's called now; the deal-breaker for us was adding at least two hours and the security risks. More seamless rail travel would be great for events like this.