Blue Ridge (train)
|Service type||Commuter rail|
|Status||Transferred to MTA Maryland|
|First service||May 7, 1973|
|Successor||MARC Train Brunswick Line|
|End||Martinsburg, West Virginia|
|Distance travelled||74 mi (119.09 km)|
|Average journey time||1 hour 40 minutes|
|Service frequency||Weekday round-trip|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
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. The Blue Ridge received new Amfleet coaches in December 1975, the first train outside the Northeast Corridor to be so equipped.
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. As part of the transfer Amtrak agreed to subsidize the train for a five-year period. MARC continued to use the name during the late 1980s.
- Sanders 2006, p. 68
- West Virginia Department of Transportation, State Rail Authority (March 12, 2013). "West Virginia State Rail Plan: Intercity Service Review". Retrieved October 5, 2014.
- Reynolds & Oroszi 2000, pp. 126-127
- 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.
- "MARC Train Service". April 1, 1988.
- Reynolds, Kirk; Dave Oroszi (2000). Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Osceola, WI: MBI. ISBN 0760307466. OCLC 42764520.
- Sanders, Craig (2006). Amtrak in the Heartland. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-34705-X.