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Maryland increases capacity on MARC weekend service

Months after launching Maryland's new weekend service on the MARC Penn Line, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) has added more rail cars to increase capacity on the route between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., Gov. Martin O'Malley announced last week.

MTA had been running nine three-car trains on Saturdays and six three-car trains on Sundays, but increasing ridership required additional cars, state officials said in a press release. On March 15, MTA added one to two MARC cars per train on both days.

"The steady growth in MARC passengers riding between these two great cities confirms our choice to invest $46 million to start this much needed weekend service," said O'Malley.

MARC weekend kicked off with an inaugural celebration at both Union and Penn stations on Dec. 7, 2013. Ridership that weekend reached 4,085, and has steadily increased since then, state officials said.

The additional cars will increase capacity from 389 to a maximum of 653 passengers per train. The March 8-9 weekend registered the highest number of MARC train weekend riders to date, with a total of 6,530 passengers.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/19/2014