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Inauguration Rail Transportation

POSTED: December 27, 2008, 12:00 am

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The Washington, D.C. metropolitan region (District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia) offers a number of commuter rail options from points in the surrounding states into Union Station in the heart of the nation’s capital. We suggest you contact the various rail services directly for detailed information on schedules and fares during the Inauguration weekend. We have provided system maps (available for download on the right of this page) that will give you a sense of the various routes into and around the District of Columbia.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (METRO)

The “Metro” is the regional subway system that originates in the District of Columbia and has stops in Maryland and Virginia. The system uses “fare cards” that can be purchased at each station.

Maryland Area Regional Commuter Train (MARC)

In Maryland you can access the District of Columbia by the Maryland Area Regional Commuter Train (MARC) or the Washington METRO system in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.  The MARC (Maryland Area Regional Commuter) Train Service is a commuter rail system that operates three lines of service that include Harford County, Maryland; Baltimore City; Washington D.C.; Brunswick, Maryland; Frederick, Maryland and Martinsburg, West Virginia. MARC Train operates on weekdays only with limited service on select holidays. Train service is offered during morning and evening rush hours only on the Brunswick and Camden Line, with all day and late evening service on the Penn Line.

Seats are not reserved on MARC Trains. Smoking is not permitted on MARC Trains, inside stations and waiting rooms, nor on the platforms at Washington Union Station. The following items are not permitted on trains: non-folding baby carriages, bicycles (except folding bikes), surfboards, skis, and any items which can cause safety hazards or inconvenience to other passengers. For safety reasons, folding bicycles and hard-sided luggage are not allowed in the overhead racks. Lockers for bikes are available at many stations.


The Penn Line of the MARC Train Service operates primarily between Baltimore’s Penn Station, through BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport Train Station, and Union Station in Washington, D. C. Stops include Baltimore City, Odenton, and Bowie State University. In addition, there are 4 stops north of Penn Station [at Martins Airport, Edgewood, Aberdeen, and Perryville] located in Harford County, Maryland. The Penn Line is the only line of the MARC Train Service to offer mid-day trips between Baltimore and Washington. The Penn Line is operated under contract with the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) on a section of track known as the Northeast Corridor, the busiest portion of Amtrak railroad. The Penn line is the most traveled of all three MARC Lines boasting an average daily ridership of approximately 20,000 commuters (Oct 2007).


The second largest line of the MARC Train Service is the Brunswick Line. The Brunswick Line has an average daily ridership of approximately 7,000 commuters (Oct 2007). The Brunswick Line operates between Brunswick, Maryland and Washington Union Station. This line also includes an extension to Frederick, Maryland and Martinsburg, West Virginia. Stops along the Brunswick Line include areas surrounding Washington D. C. such as Gaithersburg, Rockville, and Silver Spring, Maryland. The Brunswick Line is operated under contract with the CSX Transportation Inc., a freight rail system, and travels over the CSX Metropolitan, Old Main Line, and Cumberland Subdivision tracks.


The Camden Line is the third line of the MARC Train Service. Trains on the Camden Line operate on sections of track that were originally part of the Baltimore and Ohio (B & O) Railroad which began operation in 1830, making it the oldest passenger rail line in the United States. The trains on this line operate out of Camden Yards in Downtown Baltimore City and travel to Union Station in Washington D.C. The Camden Line is the smallest of the three MARC Lines with an average daily ridership of approximately 4,500 commuters. The Camden Line also operates under contract with CSX Transportation Inc. Stops include Dorsey, Laurel, and College Park, Maryland.

For information on MARC train schedules for inauguration weekend:

Information: 1.800.325.RAIL (7245)
MTA Police: 1.410.454.7720

Virginia Railway Express (VRE)

The Virginia Railway Express serves northern Virginia with service from Manassas and Fredericksburg into Union Station on Capitol Hill.

For information on Virginia Railway Express train schedules for inauguration weekend: