MTA’s overhauled Penn Line commuter train schedule begins Monday

March 13, 2011

The Maryland Transit Administration’s overhauled Penn Line schedule will begin Monday, as the Maryland Area Regional Commuter line puts more trains in service with fewer cars during peak periods.

Under the new plan, eight trains with six or seven rail cars will service the Penn Line. Service is now provided by six trains with seven to nine cars each on the Penn Line, which primarily operates between Union Station and Baltimore’s Penn Station, although some trains run to Perryville.

The new schedule will provide an additional 1,000 seats between 6 and 9 a.m. and between 4 and 7 p.m. on weekdays, MTA officials said. Seventy percent of the passengers between Baltimore and Washington travel during those periods.

The addition of more trains with fewer cars should ease crowding and reduce stress on train engines, according to the MTA.

Officials hope the changes, announced last month, will help accommodate new commuting patterns expected when thousands of Defense Department jobs shift to Fort Meade and Aberdeen as part of the base realignment and closure process.

Schedules won’t change on the Brunswick or Camden lines, officials said, and fares won’t be affected by the new schedule.

— From staff reports

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