The Brunswick Line is a MARC commuter rail line between Washington, D.C. and Martinsburg, West Virginia with a branch to Frederick, Maryland. It primarily serves the northern and western suburbs of Washington. The line, MARC's longest, is operated under contract to MARC by Bombardier Transportation and runs on CSX-owned track, including the Metropolitan, Old Main Line, and Cumberland Subdivisions. It is the successor to commuter services provided by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O), which date to the mid-19th century.
The station depot at Boyds station along the Brunswick line, seen in July 2012 from the station parking lot.
|Locale||Washington D.C. and northern Maryland suburbs; West Virginia|
|Termini||Washington Union Station|
|Daily ridership||7,497 (June 2017)|
|Owner||CSX Transportation (tracks)|
|Operator(s)||Bombardier Transportation/Maryland Transit Administration|
|Line length||74 mi (119 km)|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
Prior to MARC, the B&O operated commuter trains between Washington and Martinsburg, which continued even after the start of Amtrak on May 1, 1971. Maryland began subsidizing the trains in 1974 and, in 1975, assumed full responsibility for the subsidy and equipment replacement. West Virginia followed suit soon after, guaranteeing service to its stations.
In 1983, Maryland – along with a number of other Northeastern states – took control of its commuter railroads, organizing them under the "MARC" (Maryland Area Regional Commuter) service name. Trains on the Brunswick Line were operated under contract by CSX Transportation, successor to the B&O. Brunswick Line service was augmented in 1986 when Amtrak transferred its Washington–Martinsburg Blue Ridge to MARC after agreeing to subsidize the train for five years.
In May 2010, MARC announced that it planned to find a new operator for the Brunswick and Camden Lines after CSX announced its desire to discontinue operation of commuter trains. MARC selected Bombardier Transportation Services USA Corporation (BTS) (a subsidiary of the Canadian company Bombardier Transportation) to replace CSX, and BTS assumed operations and maintenance of the lines on June 29, 2013. CSX continues to dispatch the lines.
Brunswick Line trains typically have 3–6 single or bilevel passenger cars and one or two diesel locomotives. The trains operate in a push-pull configuration, with the cab car typically facing Washington.
Prior to being replaced by new Bombardier Multilevel II cars, MARC's ex-Metra Pullman Gallery cars were used exclusively on the Brunswick Line, which is the only MARC line with all low-level platforms (except the Frederick Branch, which has a high level platform at Monocacy station).
The Brunswick Line has service only on weekdays, with 9 trains in each direction, and an additional train outbound from Union Station on Fridays. Three of the 9 trains in each direction serve the Frederick branch. Of the remainder, 3 inbound and 3 outbound serve Martinsburg, while the remainder originate or terminate at Brunswick. A bus runs between Frederick and Point of Rocks, meeting trains that do not serve the Frederick Branch.
Martinsburg, Harpers Ferry, Rockville, and Union Station are also served daily by the Amtrak Capitol Limited. Connections to the Washington Metro's Red Line are available at Rockville, Silver Spring, and Union stations.
The Brunswick Line serves the following stations. Not all trains stop at all stations.
|DC||Washington, D.C.||Union Station|| Amtrak: Acela Express, Cardinal, Capitol Limited, Carolinian, Crescent, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Vermonter, Thruway Motorcoach to Charlottesville, Virginia|
Metrorail: 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|| Metrorail: Red Line|
Metrobus: 70, 79, F4, J1, J2, J4, Q1, Q2, Q4, S2, S4, S9, Y2, Y7, Y8, Z2, Z6, Z8, Z11
Ride On: 1, 2A, 2B, 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, 33, 34, 37|
|Garrett Park||Garrett Park||Ride On: 5, 37, 38|
|Rockville||Rockville|| Amtrak: Capitol Limited|
Metrorail: Red Line
Metrobus: T2, Q1, Q2, Q4, Q5, Q6,
Ride On: 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 52, 54, 55, 56, 59, 63, 81, 101
|Washington Grove||Washington Grove||Ride On: 61|
|Gaithersburg||Gaithersburg||Ride On: 57|
|Metropolitan Grove||Ride On: 61|
|Germantown||Germantown||Ride On: 61, 75, 83, 97|
|Frederick||Monocacy|| TransIT: 10, 20|
MTA Commuter Bus: 204, 505, 515
|Frederick|| TransIT: 20, 40, 50, 60
MTA Commuter Bus: 515
|Point of Rocks||Point of Rocks||Meet-the-MARC shuttle|
|WV||Harpers Ferry||Harpers Ferry||Amtrak: Capitol Limited|
|Martinsburg||Martinsburg||Amtrak: Capitol Limited|
- "MTA Average Weekday Ridership - by Month". Maryland Open Data Portal. June 2017. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
- West Virginia Department of Transportation, State Rail Authority (March 12, 2013). "West Virginia State Rail Plan: Maryland Area Regional Commuter Service". Archived from the original on 2016-10-07. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
- MARC History on MTA website Archived April 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- "MARC to seek new operator for CSX-run routes". Trains Magazine. 14 June 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
- Weir, Kytja (17 October 2012). "Bombardier wins $204m MARC commuter train contract". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "Brunswick Line Schedule" (PDF). MTA Maryland. March 4, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
- "New Shuttle Service Between Kingsview Park & Ride Lot and Germantown MARC Station Now Available". Montgomery County, MD. Archived from the original on 2015-06-21. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
- Closure of station due to low ridership was proposed in an early-2006 MARC plan that was ultimately canceled.