Public meetings for proposed changes to MARC schedule

A MARC train approaches the Gaithersburg station Tuesday morning. MARC has proposed eliminating some stops at sparsely used stations. (WTOP/Kristi King)

Kristi King, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – It’s hard to plan your life if trains run late.

But a proposal to improve on-time performance on Marc’s Brunswick Line isn’t popular with everyone.

One rider tells WTOP she needs every minute she can get to catch her evening train and it’s among those proposed to depart Union Station in D.C. earlier during the evening rush hour.

Marc’s proposed changes also would eliminate some stops at more sparsely used stations between Martinsburg, W.Va., and Union Station. For some that might pose a great inconvenience.

But one rider at the Gaithersburg station tells WTOP it’s not reasonable to slow down a train carrying 500 people so one person can get on or off the train.

Another points out the Washington Grove station, that would lose some service, is very close to the Gaithersburg station. There also is bus service linking those two stations.

Compared to when MARC’s Brunswick Line opened in 2001, MARC says so many people now are using Brunswick Line trains that the time it takes to get all the riders on or off trains at various stations can make the trains late.

MARC says proposed changes should give passengers and trains all the time they need to allow trains to operate on-time.

The proposed changes initially were to kick in Jan. 30, 2012, but The Examiner reports MARC may put that date on hold while public opinion is considered.

MARC is holding public meetings on proposed changes to the Brunswick Line train schedules next week in Brunswick, Barnesville and Kensington.

For more on the scheduled meetings, follow this link.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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