Commuters on the Camden and Brunswick MARC lines will see disruption if railway workers go on strike on Friday; some long-distance Amtrak trains canceled

A potential strike by CSX railroad workers starting Friday would suspend commuter trains on the Camden and Brunswick lines, the Maryland Transit Administration announced Monday.

“Due to an ongoing labor dispute between CSX Transportation and its unions, CSX has notified the MDOT MTA that there is a risk of a labor strike,” the MTA said in a news release.

CSX owns the regional commuter lines in Camden and Brunswick Maryland and dispatches the trains, which means that if the unions decide to strike, service would be suspended until the freight company and the workers reach an agreement . MARC’s Penn Line would not be affected by a strike, the MTA said.

Although Amtrak lines and workers are not involved in ongoing labor negotiations, Amtrak has canceled some long-distance passenger routes in anticipation of freight rail disruptions. Travel in the Amtrak-owned Northeast Corridor, which includes Baltimore, is generally unaffected, a spokesperson said in a statement. Amtrak customers affected by disruptions can get refunds without cancellation fees or can change their reservation to another date until October 31 without paying the difference in fares.

On Wednesday, Amtrak announced further long-distance train cancellations starting Thursday, including the Cardinal Line that runs from New York to Chicago via Baltimore Penn Station. Palmetto Line trains, which also run through Penn Station, were canceled Thursday but only south of Washington, DC

A CSX spokesperson referred questions about labor negotiations to the Association of American Railroads and the National Railway Labor Conference.

The coalition, which negotiates on behalf of the nation’s largest freight railroads, including CSX, has announced eight of the 13 tentative agreements needed to avert a strike by some 115,000 railroad workers.

The deals that have been announced so far have closely followed the recommendations of a special council appointed by President Joe Biden which called for increases of 24% over five years, $5,000 in bonuses and a paid day off. additional per year.

But the two largest unions representing conductors and engineers have resisted because they want the railways to go beyond those recommendations and address some of their concerns about attendance policies and working conditions. strict.

Representatives of those unions, the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers — Transportation Division which represents drivers, and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen which represents engineers, did not respond to requests for comment.

Conrail and CSX railroad workers went on strike in Baltimore in April 1991, in one of the last major rail strikes.

Although striking unions are ready to outfit commuter trains, CSX has told its engineers to stay home, citing concerns for passenger safety. Commuter rail service was halted for around 8,000 passengers on the Camden and Brunswick lines. CSX’s shutdown of MARC trains was the only instance of a company closing a rail line during this strike, industry groups said at the time. Congress quickly passed a law requiring workers to return to work.

Historically, railroad strikes are not new to Baltimore. In 1877, Maryland Governor John Lee Carroll called in the National Guard to quell an uprising of striking railroad workers protesting pay cuts, a clash that sparked a chain of work stoppages that became the first general strike in United States history.

The 1877 strike against the B&O Railroad and the role of Federal troops in ending it is commemorated by a historical marker near Camden Yards.

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Federal law governing railroad contract negotiations will not allow a strike or lockout until Friday.

If railroad workers go on strike, commuter buses will honor MARC tickets during the disruption, the MTA said. Camden Line tickets are still honored on the Penn Line and MARC weekly and monthly passes can also be used on WMATA and RideOn buses.

Spokeswoman Veronica Battisti said in an email Tuesday that the MTA has no plans at this time to add commuter bus rides.

Below is a list of other transit options at stations along the Camden and Brunswick lines:

Camden Line

  • Camden Station – MARC Penn Line service from Penn Station.
  • St. Denis – MARC Penn Line service from Halethorpe.
  • Dorsey – BWI’s Penn Line MARC service (please note 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 Metro. Important Note for Laurel Riders: The 89M bus stop to the Greenbelt Metro is on Route 1 across from the Citgo gas station, 1 block south of the Laurel Station parking lot entrance MARK. There is also a stop near the intersection of Main Street and Orchard Town Court in downtown Laurel.
  • Greenbelt – WMATA Green Line service to Washington, DC
  • College Park – WMATA Green Line service to Washington, D.C. Passengers traveling from points north of College Park via the Penn Line can use the WMATA F6 bus service from New Carrollton MARC station to College Park Metro and via the campus of the University of Maryland via Campus Drive, Stadium Drive and Regents Drive. Passengers with a valid University of Maryland faculty or student ID can take the UM Route 126 shuttle from the New Carrollton subway to campus.
  • Riverdale Park Town Center – WMATA F4 bus service to Prince George’s Plaza subway station, then Green Line service to Washington.

Brunswick Line

  • 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 515 commuter bus route from Urbana Park and Ride to Shady Grove Subway.
  • Germantown, Metropolitan Grove, Gaithersburg and Washington Grove – RideOn bus service to Shady Grove metro, then WMATA Red Line service to Washington.
  • Rockville – WMATA Red Line service to Washington.
  • Garrett Park and Kensington – RideOn bus service to Silver Spring Metro, then WMATA Red Line service to Washington.
  • Silver Spring – WMATA Red Line service to Washington.

The Associated Press, Baltimore Sun librarian Paul McCardell and Baltimore Sun reporter Lilly Price contributed to this article.

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