Beginning in 2013, MARC riders should expect to see some new rail cars during the daily commute. The Maryland Transit Administration is spending $153 million dollars on 54 new multi-level passenger rail cars, with much of that money coming from the federal government.
The cars will replace some older cars and wind up adding 16 cars to the overall MARC system.
The new cars, which are manufactured by Bombardier Transport, will have more seats than the older cars they are replacing. There will be three types of new cars: 15 cab cars that will have an engineer’s compartment and seat 127 passengers, 34 trailer cars holding 142 passengers and five cars that will have bathrooms and hold 132 passengers. There will be four side doors on each side of each car, which could improve boarding and deboarding times.
The new cars are expected to begin arriving in the spring of 2013. They are going to meet Amtrak’s standards for operating on the Penn Line and CSX’s standards to run on the Camden and Brunswick lines.
When the new cars join the system, the administration will retire 26 single-level passenger cars and a dozen gallery cars.
The federal government will pay up to 80 percent of the cost, with the state of Maryland paying for the rest, according to a news release issued by the state.