WASHINGTON - The nation's freight railroads and their unions could be headed toward a strike if they cannot settle their contract dispute before Friday's deadline and some transit systems that operate in the D.C. area are bracing for the potential impact.
Here's how a strike could impact D.C. area rail service and commuters:
"Most travel within the Amtrak-owned Northeast Corridor (Boston - New York - Washington) and related branch lines to Albany, NY, Harrisburg, PA, and Springfield, MA would not be affected," Amtrak officials said in a statement. "Acela would operate a full schedule, and only a small number of Northeast Regional departures would be impacted."
The transit company did say that a potential strike could significantly impact intercity passenger rail service outside the Northeast Corridor. They say they operate almost all of their 21,000 route miles outside the NEC on track owned, maintained, and dispatched by freight railroads.
Amtrak pre-emptively canceled trips over three Long Distance routes Tuesday to avoid possible disruptions while enroute if the strike cannot be averted.
"Any labor strike would result in the immediate suspension of all MARC Camden and Brunswick Line service until a resolution is reached," MARC officials say. This is because CSX owns and maintains the Camden and Brunswick lines in addition to dispatching the MARC trains.
Maryland Transit Administration officials say passengers should begin to plan for alternate travel.
MDOT MTA released the following list of stations on the Camden and Brunswick Lines - along with alternate transportation options that passengers should consider. The MTA Commuter Buses listed will honor all MARC tickets during any possible disruption. WMATA and RideOn buses always honor MARC weekly and monthly passes and Camden Line tickets are always cross-honored on the Penn Line.
Penn Line service will not be impacted.
Links to transit providers listed multiple times below:
- Camden Station - MARC Penn Line service from Penn Station
- St. Denis - MARC Penn Line service from Halethorpe
- Dorsey - MARC Penn Line service from BWI (please note that parking at BWI is $9 per day)
- Savage - MARC Penn Line service from Odenton and MTA Commuter Bus Route 335 and Route 345 from Broken Land Park & Ride Lot
- Laurel and Muirkirk - MARC Penn Line service from Odenton or Bowie State University, MTA Commuter Bus Route 305 and Route 315 from Scaggsville and Burtonsville Park and Ride Lots, and WMATA 89M bus service to Greenbelt MetroImportant note for Laurel passengers: The stop for the 89M bus to Greenbelt Metro is on Route 1 in front of the Citgo gas station, 1 block south of the entrance to the Laurel MARC station parking lot. There is also a stop near the intersection of Main Street and Orchard Town Court in downtown Laurel.
- Important note for Laurel passengers: The stop for the 89M bus to Greenbelt Metro is on Route 1 in front of the Citgo gas station, 1 block south of the entrance to the Laurel MARC station parking lot. There is also a stop near the intersection of Main Street and Orchard Town Court in downtown Laurel.
- Greenbelt - WMATA Green Line service into Washington, DC
- College Park - WMATA Green Line service into Washington, DC. Passengers coming from points north to College Park via the Penn Line can use the WMATA F6 bus service from New Carrollton MARC station to College Park Metro and throught the University of Maryland campus via. Campus Drive, Stadium Drive, and Regents Drive. Passengers with a valid University of Maryland faculty or student ID can ride Shuttle UM Route 126 from New Carrollton Metro to campus.
- Riverdale Park Town Center - WMATA F4 bus service to Prince George's Plaza Metro station, then Green Line service into Washington
- Martinsburg - MTA Commuter Bus Route 505 from Hagerstown, Maryland to Shady Grove Metro
- Duffields, Harpers Ferry, Brunswick, Point of Rocks, Frederick, and Monocacy - MTA Commuter Bus Route 515 from Frederick and Monocacy MARC stations to Shady Grove Metro
- Dickerson, Barnesville, and Boyds - MTA Commuter Bus Route 515 from Urbana Park and Ride to Shady Grove Metro
- Germantown, Metropolitan Grove, Gaithersburg, and Washington Grove - RideOn bus service to Shady Grove Metro, then WMATA Red Line service into Washington
- Rockville - WMATA Red Line service into Washington
- Garrett Park and Kensington - RideOn bus service to Silver Spring Metro, then WMATA Red Line service into Washington
- Silver Spring - WMATA Red Line service into Washington
Virginia Railway Express officials say any labor strike would "result in the immediate suspension of all VRE train service until a resolution is reached."
VRE officials recommend riders plan for alternative commuter options.