Dave Johnson, a north College Park resident and the chief customer communications officer for MARC was at the NCPCA meeting last week to make a presentation on the MARC train service in the Greenbelt and College Park station.
Mr. Johnson said the MARC Camden Line operates between Washington and Baltimore on the CSX Transportation mainline that passes through College Park. MARC has stations adjacent to both Metro stations (College Park and Greenbelt).
Ridership is up on the Camden Line, especially at the College Park stop. The new FDA facility combined with increased student ridership account for the increase.
MARC now stops two additional trains in College Park that used to be express trains to handle the increased ridership. MARC has recently completed a platform expansion at the College Park station and will be doing more work in the near future to raise the platform slightly higher so that the step box will not be necessary (it will not be a “walk-on” platform like Greenbelt is).
In the near future passengers will see construction begin on the new Public address system and LED information signs.
The beige electrical cabinets that you see at both stations will contain the electronics of the system. MARC has modified its plans at College Park to reduce disruption to the community during the construction process.
MARC recognizes that the condition of the Greenbelt station is not up to our standards and plan a “spruce up” effort in the near future. This will include new, clearer signage.
MARC has also introduced two new locomotives. The MP-36 model locomotive is 60% more fuel efficient and emits 70% less carbon and soot than the locomotives they are replacing. The fuel tank is 1000 gallons smaller, however, it only has to be refueled every two days. The locomotives are also quieter.
Mr. Johnson said the Camden Line is a great way to take a day trip to Baltimore; fares are $6 each way ($3 for senior citizens). Tickets can be purchased from the conductor on the train (conductors accept cash only). Please pick up a schedule before you leave!