Amtrak: Aging Trains Caused Trouble On MARC Line

6:31 PM, Jun 30, 2010   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- A MARC train pulled into the Odenton station Wednesday afternoon. The stop is on the schedule but that's no guarantee.

"Their service is not reliable," said Maryland Secretary of Transportation Beverly Swaim-Staley.

The Secretary should know. She was on Monday's 538 train when it bypassed the Odenton stop. Amtrak CEO Joseph Boardman apologized for the mishap that delayed passengers by 30 minutes.

He said an electronic failure shut off the breaker, and it couldn't be reset in time to make the stop.

"We have aging infrastructure and beyond repairing the trains we need to fix them," Boardman explained.

Wednesday the top leaders from Amtrak, MTA, and MDOT met with riders to discuss the ongoing problems. Riders complained of communication problems. MTA leaders said they are now training their call center employees on specific MARC train issues. They are also developing a phone app so riders will get updates firsthand.

In the meantime, a passenger who confronted Amtrak officials at Union Station said they don't want promises and apologies, they want the problems fixed.

Written by Delia Gonçalves

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