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MARC Brunswick Line Trip Report

We took three trips to cover the Brunswick Line, two on 17 February 2011, and the last on 21 April 2011. For the first two trips we drove down the night before and stayed in a hotel near Martinsburg. We awoke early to catch the last train leaving Martinsburg at 6:30. The ticket machine in the station was broken so we had to wait on line to buy a ticket from the conductor before boarding. Unfortunately it was still dark during this part of the trip so picture taking was difficult, but it was still a fine ride. We got off the train in Brunswick and made our way through the crisp early morning light to the old station building to buy a ticket and keep warm. While there, a couple of freight trains rumbled past, but soon it was time to head back to the eastbound platform to wait for our train to Washington. This train was much shorter than the train from Martinsburg, but included a bi-level coach so we could sit in the upper level. The trip started uneventfully, but eventually we found ourselves waiting for freight traffic to pass. As we reached Rockville the conductor suggested that passengers may want to consider taking the Metro since we were likely to still be delayed further by other trains. We eventually arrived at Washington’s Union Station, but almost an hour later than scheduled. We then took the Metro to Vienna/Fairfax-GMU, attempting some photography along the way but realizing most stations were too dark to photograph. We were met at the Metro station and continued our journey to southern Virginia.

Our last trip was from Germantown to Frederick. We drove to Washington, DC in the morning and spent a few hours visiting the Mall area before heading up to Germantown. After an earlier MARC train departed, our train to Frederick arrived in Germantown. The ride to Frederick was generally pleasant, although though there was a passenger arguing with the conductors quite a bit. At Frederick the passenger apparently threatened the conductor, so we had to exit the train through another door while the conductors dealt with the situation. Once in Frederick we were met and began our drive back home.

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