How do you say 'hell train' in German?
Riders of the MARC train frequently express frustration that Maryland's commuter line doesn't perform as well as rail lines in Europe and other places. But breakdowns are a fact of life on any train system, as this report from supposedly hyper-efficient Germany shows.-- brought to us courtesy of Greater Greater Washington.
It seems the air conditioning on a paradoxically named ICE train between Berlin and Cologne failed during a heat wave in Germany, sending temperatures in the rail cars to about 122 degrees. Apparently the reaction of the German crew showed they might as well have been trained by Amtrak. Nine people were hospitalized, compared with two on MARC's infamous June 21 "hell train."
This certainly neither excuses MARC or Amtrak but it points out the extreme heat can hurt performance on any train system. The test is how rail officials react, and suspicions that MARC and its contractors have a monopoly on ineptness ought to be kaput.