Diary of a MARC commuter
CSX Transportation, which operates the Brunswick and Camden lines for the Maryland Transit Administration, attributed the delays to necessary track repairs and track congestion. The Penn Line, which has also experienced delays, is operated by Amtrak. Maryland transit officials have said MARC delays also result from Amtrak and CSX dispatchers giving their own trains priority over MARC trains.
Frye, a legal assistant in Washington who lives in Brunswick, kept a detailed log during her commute home Oct. 29 to show what she says has become a frustrating, unpredictable ride.
Aboard Train 877, scheduled to leave Washington's Union station at 4:55 p.m. bound for Martinsburg, W. Va.:
4:57 p.m.: train stopped in the Union train yard - no explanation given
4:59 p.m.: train began moving
5:03 p.m.: train stopped in outer Union train yard. Passengers hear over the loud speaker: "We'll let you know what's going on when we find out from our dispatcher. We've got an integrity monitor." No explanation given about what an integrity monitor is or what it means. Conductor walked through car while stopped and said into his radio, "Must be busy there."
5:15 p.m.: Another announcement: "We'll be moving shortly, but we will move slowly for a while." No reason or further explanation given.
5:17 p.m.: Began moving after announcement: "We got permission from dispatch to move at controlled speed."
5:19 p.m.: Received text message from Maryland Transit Administration that train was running "15 minutes late." (already wrong)
5:29 p.m.: Arrived at first stop (Silver Spring). Scheduled departure time from Silver Spring was 5:09 p.m.
5:31-5:34 p.m.: wheelchair passenger loaded at Silver Spring. Took crew four minutes to unlock the lift shed, assemble the lift, load the passenger onto the lift, hand-crank the lift to load the passenger onto the train, lower the lift, then store lift back in shed.
5:36 p.m.: Announcement: "Given go ahead for full speed."
5:45 p.m.: Arrived at second stop (Rockville)
5:45 p.m.: Received text message from Maryland Transit Administration saying train was "25 minutes late due to CSX track speed restrictions." (I guess "restricted" also means "stopped")
5:47 p.m.: Departed Rockville (scheduled departure time is 5:21 p.m.)
6:20 p.m.: Departed Point of Rocks headed to Brunswick. (Scheduled departure time is 5:49 p.m.)
I'm unsure of the departure time from Brunswick, where the wheelchair passenger was offloaded. They were still stowing the lift, and the train was still in the station by the time I had reached my car and exited the parking lot.
Scheduled arrival time in Brunswick is 6:05.
From the Post's archives:
Posted by: johnson_transpo | November 11, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jgarcia64 | November 12, 2010 5:22 AM | Report abuse