Daytime Station Support Program
Membership Campaign Program
Summer of Service Program
By Matt Bush
MARC trains will be running slower because of the heat. But all will have extra water on board.
Amtrak operates MARC's Penn Line, and says it has stocked trains with extra water and positioned rescue locomotives every 30 to 50 miles to help should a train break down.
That happened last month, when a Penn Line train stalled just outside of Union Station. Around 900 passengers were stranded for more than two hours, and without air conditioning on the train, were forced to remove windows to escape temperatures that reached around 110-degrees on the train.
Christopher Field rides MARC everyday from Baltimore to his job in Lanham, Maryland. He likes that there will be extra water, but he says it does not address the root problem of breakdowns of MARC trains.
"MARC is operating close to it's total capacity," he says, "and you can't operate any network close to capacity with high reliability." "There needs to be investments to expand the rail fleet, the number of cars and number of trains it can handle on the tracks, and increased flexibility. So they can carry the loads and deal with emergencies when they come up."
Because of the heat, MARC's Brunswick and Camden line trains must run 20 mph slower this evening. That means delays of 10 to 15 minutes.