Maryland (MARC Extensions - Point of Rocks to Frederick)

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MARC Frederick Extension & Rolling Stock Procurement


(November 1996)

Description The Mass Transit Administration (MTA) of Maryland is extending the Maryland Commuter Rail (MARC) system to provide service from Point of Rocks to Frederick, Maryland. The MARC system presently consists of two lines between Washington, D. C., and Baltimore, Maryland, (one of which extends into Perryville, Maryland) and a third line between Washington, D. C., and Brunswick, Maryland, with extended service into Martinsburg, West Virginia. In addition, MTA is embarking on a major procurement of additional commuter rail coaches and locomotives for MARC to meet anticipated system-wide demand. The estimated cost of these projects is $131.6 million. Ridership forecast for the year 2015 is 1,600 daily passengers on this extension to Frederick.


Section 3035(nn)(2) of ISTEA directed FTA to enter into a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with MTA totaling $160 million, including $60 million in fiscal year 1993 and $50 million in fiscal years 1994 and 1995, to carry out MARC service extensions and other improvements including the purchase of rolling stock and station improvements and expansions.

MARC was awarded an FFGA for $105.3 million in June 1995. Through FY 1997, $56.74 million has been appropriated to this project. An additional $33.25 million not covered by the FFGA was appropriated by Congress for MARC commuter rail improvements in prior years.

The Frederick extension will involve track, signal, and station improvements on an existing freight line. An environmental assessment was completed, which resulted in a Finding of No Significant Impact. Two station sites have been selected and final design is underway. Section 5309 New Start funds committed for this project under the FFGA are estimated at $38.7 million. MTA expects to begin MARC commuter rail service on this extension in 1999.
In December 1994, the MTA began steps to purchase up to 50 bi-level commuter rail cars and six electric locomotives for systemwide capacity improvements throughout the MARC commuter rail system. Final design of the coaches is completed and manufacturing is underway. MTA is also doing some bridge clearance work near Union Station in Washington, D.C., to accommodate the bi-level cars. That work is not part of the FFGA. The procurement of the locomotives is being done as a joint procurement with Amtrak.

Source of Funds

Total Funding ($million)
Section 5309 New Start FFGA Amount $105.25 ($56.74 million appropriated through FY 1997)
Local 26.31
TOTAL $131.56