O'Malley plans MARC train ride
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) will ride a MARC train from the Baltimore area to New Carrollton on Thursday morning to talk with passengers about improving the commuter rail line after a breakdown Monday evening that stranded 900 people in a train without air conditioning in the sweltering late afternoon heat, a spokesman said Wednesday.
O'Malley is scheduled to ride MARC train 417, leaving Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport at 8:35 a.m. and arriving at New Carrollton at 9 a.m. The media has been invited along for the ride. O'Malley has called Amtrak's handling of the breakdown "unacceptable." Amtrak operates MARC for the Maryland Transit Administration.
The electric locomotive on the Penn Line's train 538 broke down Monday at 6:23 p.m., shortly after it pulled out of Union Station, MARC officials said. The locomotive's jammed brakes prevented the train from being pulled by another locomotive, they said. Some passengers spent more than three hours on the train when outside temperatures hovered at 90 degrees, requiring passengers to remove windows via emergency latches when the heat inside became unbearable, passengers said.
Ten passengers were treated for heat-related symptoms, including dizziness, nausea and breathing problems. Three of them were taken to a nearby hospital.
Amtrak, MARC and the Federal Railroad Administration said Tuesday that they will investigate what happened and whether a federally required emergency preparedness plan was properly followed.
-- Katherine Shaver
Washington Post Editors
| June 23, 2010; 5:07 PM ET
Categories: Crime and Public Safety, Maryland, Traffic and Transportation
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