Brunswick Line

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Brunswick Line
Boyds Station.JPG
The station depot at Boyds station along the Brunswick line, seen in July 2012 from the station parking lot.
TypeCommuter rail
SystemMARC Train
LocaleWashington D.C. and northern Maryland suburbs; West Virginia
TerminiWashington Union Station
Martinsburg, WV
Daily ridership7,497 (June 2017)[1]
OwnerCSX Transportation (tracks)
Operator(s)Bombardier Transportation/Maryland Transit Administration
Rolling stockSiemens Charger, MPI MPXpress MP36PH-3C, Bombardier Multilevel
Line length74 mi (119 km)
Number of tracks2-5
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Route map

Capitol Limited
Harpers Ferry
Capitol Limited
Point of Rocks Tunnel
Point of Rocks
Metropolitan Grove
Washington Grove
WMATA Metro Logo.svg Capitol Limited
Garrett Park
Silver Spring
WMATA Metro Logo.svg
Union Station
DC Streetcar WMATA Metro Logo.svg Virginia Railway ExpressAmtrak

The Brunswick Line is a MARC commuter rail line between Washington, D.C., and Martinsburg, West Virginia, with a branch to Frederick, Maryland. It primarily serves the northern and western suburbs of Washington. The line, MARC's longest at 74 miles, is operated under contract to MARC by Bombardier Transportation and runs on CSX-owned track, including the Metropolitan, Old Main Line, and Cumberland Subdivisions. It is the successor to commuter services provided by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O), which date to the mid-19th century.


Prior to MARC, the B&O operated commuter trains between Washington and Martinsburg, which continued even after the start of Amtrak on May 1, 1971. Maryland began subsidizing the trains in 1974 and, in 1975, assumed full responsibility for the subsidy and equipment replacement. West Virginia followed suit soon after, guaranteeing service to its stations.[2]

In 1983, Maryland – along with a number of other Northeastern states – took control of its commuter railroads, organizing them under the "MARC" (Maryland Area Regional Commuter) service name.[3] Trains on the Brunswick Line were operated under contract by CSX Transportation, successor to the B&O. Brunswick Line service was augmented in 1986 when Amtrak transferred its Washington–Martinsburg Blue Ridge to MARC after agreeing to subsidize the train for five years.[2]

In May 2010, MARC announced that it planned to find a new operator for the Brunswick and Camden Lines after CSX announced its desire to discontinue operation of commuter trains.[4] MARC selected Bombardier Transportation Services USA Corporation (BTS) (a subsidiary of the Canadian company Bombardier Transportation) to replace CSX, and BTS assumed operations and maintenance of the lines on June 29, 2013. CSX continues to dispatch the lines.[5]

Rolling stock[edit]

Brunswick Line trains typically have 3–6 single or bilevel passenger cars and one or two diesel locomotives. The trains operate in a push-pull configuration, with the cab car typically facing Washington.

Prior to being replaced by new Bombardier Multilevel II cars, MARC's ex-Metra Pullman Gallery cars were used exclusively on the Brunswick Line, which is the only MARC line with all low-level platforms (except the Frederick Branch, which has a high level platform at Monocacy station).


The Brunswick Line has service only on weekdays,[6] with 9 trains in each direction, and an additional train outbound from Union Station on Fridays. Three of the 9 trains in each direction serve the Frederick branch. Of the remainder, 3 inbound and 3 outbound serve Martinsburg, while the remainder originate or terminate at Brunswick. A bus runs between Frederick and Point of Rocks, meeting trains that do not serve the Frederick Branch.[6]

Martinsburg, Harpers Ferry, Rockville, and Union Station are also served daily by the Amtrak Capitol Limited. Connections to the Washington Metro's Red Line are available at Rockville, Silver Spring, and Union stations.


The Brunswick Line serves the following stations. Not all trains stop at all stations.

State Town/City Station Connections
DC Washington, D.C. Union Station Amtrak Amtrak: Acela Express, Cardinal, Capitol Limited, Carolinian, Crescent, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Vermonter, Thruway Motorcoach to Charlottesville, Virginia
WMATA Metro Logo.svg Metrorail: Red Line
Metrobus (Washington, D.C.) Metrobus: Loudoun, OmniRide
Virginia Railway Express VRE: Manassas Line, Fredericksburg Line
MARC train.svg MARC: Camden Line, Penn Line
MTA Maryland commuter buses MTA Commuter Bus: 903, 922
MD Silver Spring Silver Spring WMATA Metro Logo.svg Metrorail: Red Line
Metrobus (Washington, D.C.) Metrobus: 70, 79, F4, J1, J2, J4, Q1, Q2, Q4, S2, S4, S9, Y2, Y7, Y8, Z2, Z6, Z8, Z11
Ride On (bus) Ride On: 1, 2A, 2B, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 28, 127
MTA Maryland commuter buses MTA Commuter Bus: 915, 929
Kensington Kensington Ride On (bus) Ride On: 4, 5, 33, 34, 37
Garrett Park Garrett Park Ride On (bus) Ride On: 5, 37, 38
Rockville Rockville Amtrak Amtrak: Capitol Limited
WMATA Metro Logo.svg Metrorail: Red Line
Metrobus (Washington, D.C.) Metrobus: T2, Q1, Q2, Q4, Q5, Q6,
Ride On (bus) Ride On: 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 52, 54, 55, 56, 59, 63, 81, 101
Washington Grove Washington Grove Ride On (bus) Ride On: 61
Gaithersburg Gaithersburg Ride On (bus) Ride On: 57
Metropolitan Grove Ride On (bus) Ride On: 61
Germantown Germantown Ride On (bus) Ride On: 61, 75, 83,[7] 97
Boyds Boyds[8]
Barnesville Barnesville
Dickerson Dickerson[8]
Frederick Branch:
Frederick Monocacy TransIT services of Frederick, Maryland TransIT: 10, 20
MTA Maryland commuter buses MTA Commuter Bus: 204, 505, 515
Bus interchange Meet-the-MARC shuttle
Frederick TransIT services of Frederick, Maryland TransIT: 20, 40, 50, 60

MTA Maryland commuter buses MTA Commuter Bus: 515
Bus interchange Meet-the-MARC shuttle

Brunswick Line:
Point of Rocks Point of Rocks Bus interchange Meet-the-MARC shuttle
Brunswick Brunswick
WV Harpers Ferry Harpers Ferry Amtrak Amtrak: Capitol Limited
Duffields Duffields
Martinsburg Martinsburg Amtrak Amtrak: Capitol Limited


  1. ^ "MTA Average Weekday Ridership - by Month". Maryland Open Data Portal. June 2017. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  2. ^ a b West Virginia Department of Transportation, State Rail Authority (March 12, 2013). "West Virginia State Rail Plan: Maryland Area Regional Commuter Service". Archived from the original on 2016-10-07. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  3. ^ MARC History on MTA website Archived April 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "MARC to seek new operator for CSX-run routes". Trains Magazine. 14 June 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  5. ^ Weir, Kytja (17 October 2012). "Bombardier wins $204m MARC commuter train contract". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Brunswick Line Schedule" (PDF). MTA Maryland. March 4, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  7. ^ "New Shuttle Service Between Kingsview Park & Ride Lot and Germantown MARC Station Now Available". Montgomery County, MD. Archived from the original on 2015-06-21. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  8. ^ a b Closure of station due to low ridership was proposed in an early-2006 MARC plan that was ultimately canceled.

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata