10:00 a.m.: Convene at the depot in Burlington 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.: IARP Business Meeting 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.: Conference with Pat Jackson Following lunch: Tour of the Burlington Northern shops Tentative, after BN shops tour: Tour of the Charles E. Perkins MansionWelch urged members to note the earlier starting time for the meeting: 10:00 a.m. This is to accommodate the numerous activities that have been planned.
The Officers, Directors and Committee Chairs of the Iowa Association of Railroad Passengers, Inc. (IARP)
President: Richard F. "Dick" Welch, 3349 Southgate Court, S.W., #108, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404-5424 319-362-6824
Vice President/Legal Counsel/ Editor Iowa Rail News: George F. Davison, Jr., 2501 Grand Avenue, Suite C, Des Moines, IA 50312 515-288-6532
Treasurer: Mary Buczek, 1422 West 9th Street, Davenport, IA 52804 319-323-3390
Director: John Ely, Jr., 203 23rd Street, N.E., Cedar Rapids, IA 52402 319-363-3927
Excursion Chair: Eliot A. Keller, 2105 A.C.T. Circle, Iowa City, IA 52245-9636 319-351-9300
Membership Chair/NARP Region 10 Director: Cathy Johnson, 242 Ferson Avenue, Iowa City, IA 52246-3509 319-337-5989
Meetings Chair: Gary Billmeyer, 1301 Rittenhouse Street, Des Moines, IA 50315 515-285-2807
Records Chair: Jerry Droll, P.O. Box 353, Clarence, IA 52216-0353 319-452-3010
General Correspondence 3349 Southgate Court, S.W., #108, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
Iowa Rail News is the official publication of the Iowa Association of Railroad Passengers, Inc.
On July 14 I boarded MARC train 248. It was scheduled to depart Washington Union Station at 11:30 a.m. for the one hour and nine minute trip to Camden Station, Baltimore. The train consisted of a locomotive and four single level coaches. The seating was 3/2. The conductor and his assistant were friendly and kept busy with eight scheduled and two flag stops during the 36 mile trip. Just two minutes after leaving the Laurel depo, we eased to a stop at Laurel Racetrack, a scheduled stop for all MARC trains, except several rush hour expresses and baseball specials. About 35 passengers left the train at the race track, clutching their racing forms. They hurried across the parking lot toward the grandstand for the first race of the day.
MARC's Camden Station is a small modern affair with three stub end tracks located about a block south of the old, but impressive, B & O Station. Next to the station are two tracks used by the Baltimore Light Rail Vehicle system. On the west side of the station, the old B & O warehouse contains shops and restaurants, as well as offices of the Baltimore Orioles Baseball team. Just on the other side of this building is the new Baltimore Orioles Camden Yards Baseball stadium. The Inner Harbor is about five blocks east.
This and the return trip took me back to the pre-AMTRAK days of the all stops local. It is encouraging to see many commuter railroads, such as MARC, evolving into regional railroads with all day service in both directions, as opposing to just into the city in the morning and out in the evening. MARC has upgraded service on the Penn and Brunswick lines with parlor car service on four of its named trains: The Morning Executive, The Afternoon Executive, the Metropolitan Special, and the Blue Ridge. This appears to be the trend in several areas in the country restoring to some communities a level of train service which was lost when the private railroads left the passenger business.