For most of us, a trip to
Here in the greater Baltimore region, though, train transport is a realistic option only for commuters whose schedules are as regimented and predictable as the days of the week. Sure, we in Harford County have access to the
At a cost of $5 million, the train station in Edgewood is being turned into a more inviting place than it has been for much of the MARC line's existence. This is a small step in the direction of improving the rail transport system serving Harford County and greater Baltimore, probably too small to make much of a difference to anyone but the folks already using the trains, and their numbers are large. The Edgewood station has long been one of the busiest on the MARC
The problem is one of crowded tracks, and it has been since the MARC system started. Though often criticized for losing billions, Amtrak actually has a record of breaking even or making money in the northeast corridor — which includes Baltimore and Washington — because trains are frequent and well used. As a result, adding regular runs of local trains like the MARC to the Amtrak lines is a physical impossibility. There just isn't enough time between trains already using the tracks to allow more to be scheduled.
When such a situation exists on a road or highway, more lanes or new roads are built. New rail lines, however, are a harder sell, even in areas like these parts where convenient and reliable local trains are likely to have a potential customer base of car commuters weary of waiting in traffic jams on highways with double digit lane counts in some places.