New company to operate some MARC trains

October 17, 2012

This post has been updated to reflect corrected information about when the Bombardier will begin operating the two lines.

A new company has been selected to operate and maintain Maryland commuter trains on the Brunswick and Camden lines.

The state Board of Public Works on Wednesday approved a five-year contract for Bombardier Transportation to operate the two Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) lines, which CSX Transportation has operated for 30 years, according to the Maryland Transit Administration. CSX did not seek the contract renewal, saying it wanted to focus on its freight operations. The five-year contract is valued at $204.7 million, an MTA spokesman said.

Although the contract takes effects this week, there will be a transition period of several months. During that time CSX will continue to operate the service.

Once Bombardier takes over operations of the two lines, CSX, which owns the tracks, will continue to dispatch MARC trains on the Brunswick and Camden lines, MTA spokesman Terry Owens said. Amtrak dispatches and operates trains on the Penn Line.

Owens said many of the train operators are expected to continue working for Bombardier.

“There should not be a wholesale change in the personnel our customers are accustomed to seeing,” Owens said. “We’re hoping for a seamless transition.”

Katherine Shaver is a transportation and development reporter. She joined The Washington Post in 1997 and has covered crime, courts, education and local government but most prefers writing about how people get — or don’t get — around the Washington region.
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