The joys of living in scenic Western Maryland already have proved alluring to thousands of long-distance commuters who make their way to work in Washington or Baltimore on a daily basis. But now there is a chance to take these commuters off the clogged interstates and put them on comfortable and relaxing rail trains instead.
A state study shows large potential ridership for commuter-rail lines running from Frederick, Hagerstown and Cumberland to Washington, D.C. Simply starting a Frederick-to-Point of Rocks line would generate 2,300 riders a day, say transportation officials.
The idea would be to tie these three Maryland cities into the Maryland Rail Commuter service, which runs seven morning and seven evening trains between the Harpers Ferry-Brunswick area and Union Station in downtown Washington, with stops in major Montgomery County residential and employment centers such as Germantown, Gaithersburg, Rockville and Silver Spring.