October 18, 2012

Md. MTA awards 3rd-party MARC contract

Gov. Martin O’Malley announced the Board of Public Works approval of a third-party contract for operations and maintenance for the Maryland Transit Administration’s (MTA) MARC Train Camden and Brunswick lines.

Bombardier Transportation submitted a winning bid valued at approximately $204.6 million over the five-year, eight-month contract term. The contract also includes a five-year renewal option, valued at $205 million.

“This new contract reflects our continuing commitment to transit in Maryland,” said O’Malley. “We have identified a quality company with a wealth of experience in operating commuter rail service. Together with our recent MARC investments, including new locomotives, new passenger cars, station improvements and safety enhancements, the MARC system is in better condition today than at any time in its history.”

This contract is for the operation of passenger railroad service and will replace a contract currently in place with CSX Transportation. After three decades of service, CSX has expressed its desire to focus on its core business, the movement of freight, and end its involvement in passenger rail operations.

The contract provides both for the operation of the service and maintenance of equipment, facilities and rights of way used in providing the service along the Camden and Brunswick lines. MTA maintains ownership of the railcars and locomotives. CSX Transportation retains ownership of the rails.

Bombardier is an established MTA customer. Last year the MTA ordered 54 multilevel MARC railcars from Bombardier and prior to that the company refurbished 34 single-level commuter coaches for MTA.

Since taking office, the O’Malley administration has invested in the MARC Train service through the purchase of 13 additional bi-level passenger cars and 26 new, more powerful, state-of-the-art “green diesel” locomotives to replace locomotives from the 1960s. The MTA is also funding upgrades to MARC stations, platforms, passenger information systems and station safety improvements.

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