Blue Ridge (train)

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Blue Ridge
Service type Commuter rail
Status Transferred to MTA Maryland
Locale West Virginia
Predecessor Potomac Special
First service May 7, 1973
Last service 1986
Successor MARC Train Brunswick Line
Former operator(s) Amtrak
Start Washington, D.C
Stops 5
End Martinsburg, West Virginia
Distance travelled 74 mi (119.09 km)
Average journey time 1 hour 40 minutes
Service frequency Weekday round-trip
Train number(s) 701,702
On-board services
Class(es) Unreserved coach
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Track owner(s) B&O

The Blue Ridge was a daily passenger train operated by Amtrak between Washington, D.C. and Martinsburg, West Virginia. The Blue Ridge began on May 7, 1973 as a truncated Potomac Special, which had run all the way to Parkersburg, West Virginia.

The Blue Ridge's initial western terminus was Cumberland, Maryland. Beginning in 1976 the Blue Ridge ran in tandem with the Shenandoah, which followed the Potomac Special's route to Parkersburg and continued to Cincinnati, Ohio. With the introduction of the Shenandoah the Blue Ridge began terminating at Martinsburg.[1] The Blue Ridge received new Amfleet coaches in December 1975, the first train outside the Northeast Corridor to be so equipped.[2]

In 1981 Amtrak replaced the Shenandoah with the Capitol Limited, which ran as far as Cumberland, Maryland but then continued northwest to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, eschewing the B&O line through West Virginia. In 1986 Amtrak transferred the Blue Ridge to the Maryland Mass Transit Administration (now the Maryland Transit Administration), which incorporated it into its existing MARC Train Brunswick Line.[3] As part of the transfer Amtrak agreed to subsidize the train for a five-year period.[4] MARC continued to use the name during the late 1980s.[5]


  1. ^ Sanders 2006, p. 68
  2. ^ West Virginia Department of Transportation, State Rail Authority (March 12, 2013). "West Virginia State Rail Plan: Intercity Service Review". Retrieved October 5, 2014. 
  3. ^ Reynolds & Oroszi 2000, pp. 126-127
  4. ^ West Virginia Department of Transportation, State Rail Authority (March 12, 2013). "West Virginia State Rail Plan: Maryland Area Regional Commuter Service". Retrieved October 5, 2014. 
  5. ^ "MARC Train Service". April 1, 1988. 


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