Greater Greater Washington Shows Us How to Travel From Virginia to Massachusetts . . . On Commuter Rail

East Coast commuters will soon be able to travel via commuter rail from Virginia to Connecticut without having to board an Amtrak railcar. Due to a newly proposed MARC weekday service extension from Perryville, Maryland to Newark, Delaware, travelers will have the opportunity to transfer between SEPTA and MARC for the first time ever. This proposal will connect the tri-state D.C., Maryland, Virginia (DMV) area to the greater Northeast Corridor, allowing for diversified, cheaper transit options for both local commuters and long-distance travelers.

To showcase the vast expansion of the commuter rail network not only within the region but throughout the Mid-Atlantic area, David Edmondson, a contributor to Greater Greater Washington (GGWash), has created an incredibly comprehensive map. This visual representation illustrates the interconnected commuter railways that form the Northeast Corridor. Developing the map required an in-depth examination of various rail systems, including Amtrak, Virginia Railway Express, SEPTA Regional Rail, Long Island Rail Road, New Jersey Transit, Metro-North Railroad, and CTrail, considering their operational robustness and variations.

The comparative analysis serves as a source of inspiration for transit rail systems in the DMV area to enhance their service for passengers. Additionally, the map highlights the potential benefits for riders who may not be able to afford Amtrak services. With all the projected future extensions in place, commuters will have the opportunity to travel virtually along the entire Eastern seaboard, from Fredericksburg, VA to Springfield, MA, or even Montauk, NY, using the extensive commuter rail network.

While mostly proof-of-concept rather than a journey a commuter is ever likely to take regularly, Edmonson and GGWash’s map highlights the importance of commuter rail in creating an interconnected network of transit options for riders that advances the argument that unfettered travel throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast is entirely feasible thanks to a robust commuter rail system backstopping Amtrak service.

GGWash has long been engaged in the fight for better transit options in the D.C. region, including advocating for a robust network of bus and rail to allow for car-free access throughout the metropolitan area. Summit is a proud supporter of GGwash and their self-described mission “to inform, engage, and influence the public and policy to advance racial, economic, and environmental justice in land use, transportation, and housing throughout Greater Washington” since 2019.


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