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Contract to boost Maryland transportation jobs

Posted on October 9, 2015

The Board of Public Works yesterday approved the Maryland Department of Transportation’s contract to purchase eight new diesel locomotives for MARC Train service, which will lead to boost Maryland transportation jobs. The $58.1 million contract was awarded to Siemens Industry, Inc., and will enable the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) to enter into a cost-effective cooperative purchasing agreement with the Illinois Department of

Transportation to replace older electric locomotives. By entering into this intergovernmental agreement, Maryland can purchase the locomotives at a volume discount.

MARC operates along three commuter rail lines in Maryland: Penn, Camden and Brunswick. The Penn Line operates along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor from Perryville to Union Station in Washington, D.C.; the Camden Line from Baltimore’s Camden Station to Union Station; and the Brunswick Line from Martinsburg, W.Va., to Union Station.

Both the Camden and Brunswick lines operate along CSX freight lines. Diesel locomotives can operate on all three MARC lines, providing greater operational flexibility. Currently, electric locomotives only can operate on MARC’s Penn Line, which is equipped with an electrified overhead catenary. Average weekday ridership on all three MARC lines exceeds 36,000 riders. MARC also operates weekend trains on the Penn Line between Martin State Airport and Union Station.

MARC currently operates 32 diesel locomotives and 10 electric locomotives. The eight new diesel locomotives will replace older electric ones that have either reached the end of their useful life or have been prone to mechanical breakdowns, creating service reliability issues. The proposed cost for each locomotive is approximately $6.4 million, with the remaining contract costs covering cab signaling, spare parts, tools, cameras, training and manuals.

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