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 second longest at 74 miles, is operated under contract to MARC by Alstom 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.

Brunswick Line
A northbound MARC train on the Brunswick Line, after having departed Kensington Station.
OwnerCSX Transportation (tracks)
LocaleWashington D.C. and northern Maryland suburbs; West Virginia
TypeCommuter rail
SystemMARC Train
Train number(s)870–895
Operator(s)Alstom/Maryland Transit Administration
Rolling stockSiemens Charger, MPI MPXpress MP36PH-3C, Bombardier Multilevel
Daily ridership7,497 (June 2017)[1]
Line length74 mi (119 km)
Number of tracks2-5
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Operating speed34 mph (55 km/h) (avg.)
Route map
Map Brunswick Line highlighted in yellow
Capitol Limited
Harpers Ferry
Capitol Limited
Point of Rocks Tunnel
Point of Rocks
Metropolitan Grove
Washington Grove
Capitol Limited
Garrett Park
Silver Spring
Union Station
DC Streetcar Virginia Railway ExpressAmtrak
A MARC train stopped at Gaithersburg station in Montgomery County MD along the Brunswick Line.



The B&O had long operated commuter trains between Washington and Martinsburg, and continued to do so 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.[2]

In 1983, as part of a federal requirement for Conrail (which operated the Penn Line service) to end its operation of commuter railroads on behalf of states, the state government of Maryland took control of its commuter railroads, organizing them under the "MARC" (Maryland Area Rail Commuter) service name.[3] 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.[2]

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.[4] 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.[5]

Rolling stock


Brunswick Line trains typically have four to six 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.

Before they were 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,[6] with nine trains in each direction during morning and evening rush hour, and an additional train outbound from Union Station on Fridays. Three of the nine trains in each direction serve the Frederick branch. Of the remainder, three inbound and three 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.[6]

Union Station is the southern terminus of Amtrak's Capitol Limited, which shares much of the Brunswick Line's route; Martinsburg, Harpers Ferry, and Rockville are also served by the Capitol Limited. Connections to the Washington Metro's Red Line are available at Rockville, Silver Spring, and Union Station.



The Brunswick Line serves the following stations. Not all trains stop at all stations.

State Town/City Station Connections
DC Washington, D.C. Union Station   Amtrak: Acela Express, Cardinal, Capitol Limited, Carolinian, Crescent, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Vermonter, Amtrak Thruway 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, Q2, Q4, S2, S9, Y2, Y7, Y8, Z2, Z6, Z7, Z8,
  Ride On: 1, 2A, 2B, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 28, FLASH Blue Line, FLASH Orange Line
  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, Q2, Q4, 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,[7] 97
Boyds Boyds[8]
Barnesville Barnesville
Dickerson Dickerson[8]
Frederick Monocacy   TransIT: 10, 20
  MTA Commuter Bus: 204, 505, 515
  Meet-the-MARC shuttle
Frederick   TransIT: 20, 40, 50, 60
  MTA Commuter Bus: 515
  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". Maryland Open Data Portal. June 2017. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  2. ^ a b 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 October 7, 2016. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  3. ^ MARC History on MTA website Archived April 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "MARC to seek new operator for CSX-run routes". Trains Magazine. June 14, 2010. Archived from the original on November 26, 2020. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
  5. ^ Weir, Kytja (October 17, 2012). "Bombardier wins $204m MARC commuter train contract". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved October 28, 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Brunswick Line Schedule" (PDF). MTA Maryland. March 4, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  7. ^ "New Shuttle Service Between Kingsview Park & Ride Lot and Germantown MARC Station Now Available". Montgomery County, MD. Archived from the original on June 21, 2015. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  8. ^ a b Closure of station due to low ridership was proposed in an early-2006 MARC plan that was ultimately canceled.
KML is from Wikidata