MARC train service restored following technical issues

All three MARC train lines — Camden, Penn and Brunswick — were suspended for over three hours Friday morning due to technical issues involving its Positive Train Control system, according to the Maryland Transit Administration.

The MTA said problems with the Positive Train Control system, which can automatically control speeds and movements of its MARC trains, caused the systemwide outage.



Service was temporary suspended as crews worked quickly to resolve the issue. MARC trains will be operating on a reduced schedule, the MTA said.

The Positive Train Control (PTC) system is operated by vendor Wabtec. In a statement to WTOP, the MTA said Wabtec performed computer maintenance overnight.

“Upon completion, Wabtec was unable to initialize the MARC back-office servers which control the PTC system. To ensure rider safety and comply with Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) guidelines, MARC Train cannot operate service without functioning PTC.”

The state transit agency also said MARC Train is working with Amtrak to accommodate passengers traveling between Penn Station, BWI, New Carrollton or D.C.

“Alternate travel options for riders include Commuter Bus, which will accept MARC train tickets, (www.mta.maryland.gov) or WMATA Metro at www.wmata.com,” the MTA said in a statement.

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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