West Baltimore (MARC station)
|MARC commuter rail station|
Platforms at West Baltimore Station
|Location||400 North Smallwood Street
Baltimore, MD 21223
|Owned by||Maryland Transit Administration|
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Connections||23 40, 47, 150|
|Passengers (2013 daily)||850|
West Baltimore is a regional rail station on the MARC Penn Line located in the western part of Baltimore City along the Northeast Corridor. It is positioned on an elevated grade above Mulberry and Franklin Streets (Route 40) at 400 North Smallwood Street. Two large surface lots are available for commuters. West Baltimore station is not handicapped accessible, but MTA Maryland plans to renovate the station with accessible platforms and entrances.
The Pennsylvania Railroad maintained a stop at Edmonson Avenue for many years; the station building is still in use as a private business. In 1968 PRR merged with New York Central Railroad to form Penn Central Railroad, and after years of financial despair turned the line as well as its entire operation over to Conrail. In 1978, Amtrak began running the Chesapeake commuter train, which stopped at Edmonson Avenue as well. MARC took over the service as far as Perryville in 1983 and began stopping at West Baltimore station two blocks to the south.
In 2009, it was announced that approximately 400 parking spaces east of Pulaski Street would be added, as part of the project to remove the portion of Interstate 170 (now Route 40) that had never carried vehicular traffic. The spots were not to be permanent, but instead only available until redevelopment of the surrounding neighborhood. The expressway was demolished in the fall of 2010, and the spaces opened soon after.
West Baltimore station attracted criticism for being unsafe due to crime and the poor conditions of the platforms and staircases, which are crumbling and rusted. As part of the larger project to repair the Interstate 170 area, the station will be improved over a period of several years. Immediate repairs to the stairs and platforms, as well as improved shelters and lighting, were made in 2014. Ultimately, the platforms will be extended to serve more cars per train and raised for handicapped accessibility, and ramps built to surrounding streets. The Red Line light rail service, originally planned to begin construction in 2015 (before its cancellation that year) and open in 2022, was to run along the Route 40 corridor in the median of the highway underneath the elevated city streets with a stop at West Baltimore. Escalators and elavators would be used to transport commuters from the station to the streets above the Route 40 corridor in West Baltimore.
The station is served by 4 MTA bus routes:
- 23 Rolling Road/Wildwood to Fox Ridge
- 40 QuickBus Security Square Blvd. at CMS. to Middle River
- 47 QuickBus Walbrook Junction to Overlea Loop
- 150 Express Bus Columbia to Downtown Baltimore
- Shen, Fern and Reutter, Mark (15 October 2013). "A tale of two train stations: Rusty stairs and "airborne" concrete steps greet passengers using MARC's West Baltimore station". Baltimore Brew. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- "Existing Railroad Stations in the City of Baltimore". Railroad Station Historical Society. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- National Railroad Passenger Corporation (dba Amtrak) (1 October 1979). "National Train Timetables". Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- Schultz, Sue (23 February 2009). "MTA adding 400 parking spaces at West Baltimore MARC station". Baltimore Business Journal. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- "West Baltimore MARC Station Projects: Project News & Updates Community Meeting" (PDF). Maryland Transit Administration. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
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