Maryland/MARC Frederick Extension and Rolling Stock Procurement

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MARC Frederick Extension and Rolling Stock Procurement


(November 1999)

(click here for map)


The Mass Transit Administration of Maryland (MTA) 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 north of Baltimore and Perryville, Maryland) and a third line between Washington, D.C. and Brunswick, Maryland, with extended service into Martinsburg, West Virginia. The Frederick extension involves track, signal, and station/yard improvements on an existing freight line. In addition to the extension, MTA has embarked on a major procurement of additional commuter rail coaches and locomotives for MARC to meet anticipated system-wide demand. The estimated cost of the project covered by the Full Funding Grant Agreement is $131.6 million. Ridership forecast for 2015 is 1,600 daily passengers on the Frederick Extension.


In June 1995, MARC was awarded an FFGA for $105.25 million in Section 5309 New Start funds. TEA-21 Section 3030(a)(41) authorizes MARC Commuter Rail Improvements for final design and construction. Through FY 2000, $105.25 million has been appropriated pursuant to the FFGA to this project, fulfilling the commitment. An additional $33.26 million not covered by the FFGA was appropriated by Congress for MARC commuter rail improvements in prior years.

An Environmental Assessment for the Frederick Extension was completed, which resulted in a Finding of No Significant Impact. Two station sites have been selected and Final Design is underway. The FFGA committed $38.7 million in Section 5309 New Start Funds for the Frederick Extension (out of the total FFGA amount of $105.25 million). MTA expects to begin MARC commuter rail service on this extension by 2001. This represents a significant delay caused by protracted negotiations between MARC and CSXT, the owner of most of the right-of-way for the extension.

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. Manufacture of the coaches and locomotives is underway and deliveries are in progress. MTA has also completed bridge clearance work near Union Station in Washington, D.C., to accommodate the bi-level cars. The clearance work was not part of the FFGA. The procurement of the locomotives is being accomplished as a joint procurement with Amtrak.

TEA-21 Section 3030(g)(2) authorizes the expansion of the scope of MARC extensions to include capacity and efficiency improvements through construction of a Penn-Camden Connection, additional MARC maintenance and storage facilities, other capacity related improvements, and the Silver Spring Intermodal Center. FTA funding for these scope additions will be addressed in the proposed FY 2001 budget.

(Reported in $YOE)

Source of Funds

Total Funding ($million)

Appropriations to Date

  §5309 New Starts

FFGA Amount


($105.25 million appropriated through FY 2000)





NOTE: An additional $33.26 million was appropriated before the FFGA for the other MARC system improvements, bringing total Section 5309 appropriations to $138.5 million. Totals may not add due to rounding.

MARC Extension- Point of Rocks to Federick (map)