MARC meltdown is bad; reason is worse
The news from MARC today was bad in a typical kind of way -- three canceled trains after a locomotive breakdown on the Penn Line, delays of 30-90 minutes. Nothing veteran MARC riders haven't lived through before.
What's ominous is the details: The breakdown came in one of the AEM-7 electric locomotives that has only recently been returned to the tracks after several years in Amtrak's Wilmington shop. Late last year, Amtrak found the supposed fix, and began reurning the supposedly operative engines to MARC.
According to Maryland Transit Administration spokeswoman Angela White, the cause of this morning's breakdown has not yet been determined. The AEM-7 has been delivered to Amtrak's Washington yard. MARC riders had better hope the problem is not related to the AEM-7's previous electrical woes. Otherwise it might be a long winter and spring on the Penn Line.