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Brunswick Line

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Title: Brunswick Line  
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Subject: Camden Line, Gaithersburg (MARC station), Metropolitan Grove (MARC station), Washington Grove (MARC station), Martinsburg (Amtrak station)
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Brunswick Line

     MARC Brunswick Line
The station depot at Boyds station along the Brunswick line, seen in July 2012 from the station parking lot.
Type Commuter rail line
System MARC Commuter Rail
Status Active
Locale Washington D.C. and northern Maryland suburbs; West Virginia
Termini Washington D.C. Union Station
Martinsburg, WV
Stations 19
Daily ridership 8,138[1]
Owner CSX Transportation (tracks)
Operator(s) Bombardier Transportation/Maryland Transit Administration
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Route map

The Brunswick Line is a MARC commuter rail line consisting of a main line running from Washington D.C. to Martinsburg, West Virginia and a branch line from just south of Point-of-Rocks station to Frederick, Maryland. The service is operated under contract by CSX Transportation, but is administered by MARC, a service of the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA). The Brunswick Line is MARC's longest line, and operates over CSX's Metropolitan, Old Main Line, and Cumberland Subdivisions. It is the successor to commuter services provided by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O) as long ago as the mid-19th century.


The startup of Amtrak on May 1, 1971 did not affect the B&O's commuter trains between Washington and Martinsburg. Maryland began subsidizing the operation in 1974; in 1975 it assumed full responsibility for the subsidy and for equipment replacement. West Virginia followed suit soon after, guaranteeing the continuation of service into that state.[2] In 1983, Maryland, along with a number of other Northeastern states, took control of its commuter railroads and the "MARC" (Maryland Area Regional Commuter) service name was established.[3] This service was augmented in 1986 when Amtrak transferred its Blue Ridge, which also operated between Washington and Martinsburg, to MARC control. Amtrak continued to subsidize that train for five years.[2]

Rolling stock

The Brunswick Line (like the Camden Line) is a diesel-only line. Trains are usually 3 to 6 cars long with a single diesel locomotive in push-pull configuration. However, some trains (like 880 or 883) can operate 2 locomotives from time to time. Generally, the cab-car end operates towards Union Station. The line uses a mix of single level cars and bilevels. The Brunswick Line is the only line to utilize ex-Metra Pullman Gallery cars, since it's the only MARC line to use all low-level platforms on the main line between Martinsburg and Washington D.C. These gallery cars are normally seen on 874/875 but when MARC gets the new Bombardier Multilevel II Cars, they will be replacing the old ex-Metra pullman cars. The gallery cars are restricted from the Frederick Branch due to Monocacy station having a high platform.


There are 9 total inbound and 9 outbound trains to/from Union Station on a normal weekday. On Fridays, there is an additional outbound train. 3 trains in each direction service the Frederick branch. The rest continue to/from Brunswick, with 3 inbounds and 5 outbounds going all the way to/from Martinsburg. Meet-the-MARC Shuttle Bus connects Frederick with all trains that do not service Frederick directly (via Point of Rocks).[4]

Amtrak's Capitol Limited, which runs daily in both directions between Chicago and Washington, D.C., uses the same trackage as the Brunswick Line and shares stations with MARC at Martinsburg, Harpers Ferry, Rockville, and Union Station. Connections are also available to the Washington Metro Red Line at Rockville, Silver Spring, and Union stations.

Trains were operated by CSX Transportation, although MARC announced in early May 2010 that it planned to find a new operator for the line, as well as for the Camden Line after CSX announced its desire to leave the business of operating commuter trains.[5] Operating and maintenance responsibility for the Camden and Brunswick Lines was transferred from CSXT to Bombardier Transportation Services USA Corporation (BTS), a subsidiary of the Canadian company Bombardier Transportation, effective 12:01 a.m. on June 29, 2013. BTS crews started operating MARC trains on Monday, July 1, 2013. CSXT continues to dispatch MARC Camden and Brunswick Line trains after transition on behalf of the MTA.[6]

Station stops

The following station stops are made by Brunswick Line trains; not all trains make all stops.

State Town/City Station Connections
DC Washington, D.C. Union Station Amtrak: Cardinal, Capitol Limited, Carolinian, Crescent, Lake Shore Limited, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Vermonter, Thruway Motorcoach to Charlottesville, Virginia
Washington Metro: Red Line
Metrobus: Loudoun, OmniRide
VRE: Manassas Line, Fredericksburg Line
MARC: Camden Line, Penn Line
MTA Commuter Bus: 903, 922
MD Silver Spring Silver Spring Washington Metro: Red Line
Metrobus: 70, 79, F4, J1, J2, J3, J4, J5, Q1, Q2, Q4, S2, S4, S9, Y5, Y7, Y8, Y9, Z2, Z6, Z8, Z9, Z11, Z13, Z29
Ride On: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 28, 127
MTA Commuter Bus: 915, 929
Kensington Kensington Ride On: 4, 5, 6, 7, 33, 34
Garrett Garrett Park
Rockville Rockville Amtrak: Capitol Limited
Washington Metro: Red Line
Metrobus: T2, Q1, Q2, Q4, Q5, Q6,
Ride On: 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 52, 54, 55, 56, 59, 63, 81, T2
Washington Grove Washington Grove Ride On: 61
Gaithersburg Gaithersburg Ride On: 57
Metropolitan Grove Ride On: 61
Germantown Germantown Ride On: 61, 83, 94,[7] 97
Boyds Boyds[8]
Barnesville Barnesville
Dickerson Dickerson[8]
Frederick Branch:
Frederick Monocacy TransIT: 10, 20
MTA Commuter Bus: 991
Meet-the-MARC shuttle
Frederick TransIT: 20, 40, 50, 60
Meet-the-MARC shuttle
Brunswick Line:
Point of Rocks Point of Rocks Meet-the-MARC shuttle
Brunswick Brunswick
WV Harpers Ferry Harpers Ferry Amtrak: Capitol Limited
Duffields Duffields
Martinsburg Martinsburg Amtrak: Capitol Limited


  1. ^ MTA Average Weekday Ridership - by Month Retrieved 2013-07-25.
  2. ^ a b West Virginia Department of Transportation, State Rail Authority (March 12, 2013). "West Virginia State Rail Plan: Maryland Area Regional Commuter Service". Retrieved October 5, 2014. 
  3. ^ MARC History on MTA website
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "MARC to seek new operator for CSX-run routes". Trains Magazine. 14 June 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2010. 
  6. ^ Weir, Kytja (17 October 2012). "Bombardier wins $204m MARC commuter train contract".  
  7. ^ "New Shuttle Service Between Kingsview Park & Ride Lot and Germantown MARC Station Now Available". Montgomery County, MD. Retrieved August 12, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Station was to have been closed because of low ridership per early-2006 MARC plan that was ultimately canceled.
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