Hi, I'm Dave Johnson and I am the Chief Customer Communications Officer for the MARC Train Service—many of you know me as “DJ”. We'll be starting a new feature here on "Living the Transit Life" called "Workin' on the Railroad". Through this effort, we want to give our passengers a little background on what goes on behind the scenes to make the MARC Train Service run each day.
While part of the MTA, the MARC Train Service is different from the other modes in several ways:
* Since we are a commuter railroad, MARC falls under jurisdiction of both the Federal Transit Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration. We must comply with more stringent safety guidelines in terms of equipment crashworthiness (especially important since we share tracks with high speed passenger trains and freight trains), equipment maintenance documentation, and employee training.
* Speaking of employees, unlike other modes in the MTA, the employees that operate our trains do not work for the MTA. We contract with Amtrak (Penn Line) and CSX Transportation (Camden and Brunswick Line) to provide our Engineers and Conductors. MARC has a small staff of managers who oversee our operational contracts; customer service managers who interact with our passengers, address their concerns, and follow up with Amtrak and CSX supervisors for any problems that arise; and staff who manage our financial affairs.
* MARC is also the only mode in the MTA that operates outside of the State of Maryland and Washington, DC. In cooperation with our friends at the West Virginia Department of Transportation's State Rail Authority, MARC's Brunswick Line extends west from Brunswick to provide service to Harper's Ferry, Duffields, and Martinsburg, West Virginia.
In our next installment of Workin On The Railroad, we’ll talk more about our new rail car order and the proposal for a Brunswick Line schedule change.