WASHINGTON – At a special “Meet the Managers” event today at Washington Union Station, Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman directly informed MARC passengers of some of the actions the railroad is implementing to put passengers first and take care of their needs in the event of a MARC commuter train breakdown.
“Amtrak is in the business of moving people and we must never forget that,” Boardman said. “Passengers come first and the equipment comes second.”
Amtrak is taking the following actions now and will continue to work with MARC to identify additional measures to improve customer service:
Water Supply for Passengers
— In addition to the water regularly stored on MARC trains, all Amtrak Police Department patrol vehicles are being stocked with water to assist with heat-related service disruptions.
Rescue Equipment for Passengers
— In the event a MARC locomotive becomes inoperable en route, mobilization of a rescue locomotive begins immediately.
— If a MARC train is disabled en route and has no head end power to operate the heating and cooling system in the passenger cars, Amtrak will cancel the next scheduled MARC train and use that equipment as a rescue train.
— Amtrak has positioned a “protect” diesel locomotive and trainset in Washington, D.C. to be available during the afternoon for use in case a MARC electric locomotive or train is unable to operate.
On-board Communication with Passengers
— Announcements will be made by the train crew frequently to keep passengers informed with accurate information even if the information does not change from the previous announcement.
— Additional training for onboard train crews on proper communications procedures and incident response will be conducted.
Amtrak Management Response
— Amtrak management will be immediately dispatched to the disabled MARC train by any means available, and in conjunction with the train conductor, be responsible for determining the conditions on board and identifying any special needs passengers.
— In addition, Amtrak Station Action Team emergency response coordinators in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore have been registered to receive MARC Service Alerts and are prepared to help as necessary.
— In addition, no train (MARC or Amtrak) that is capable of accepting additional passengers is to pass a disabled MARC train in the event a transfer of passengers becomes necessary.