Oriole fans flood light rail system from Timonium

April 09, 1992|By Peter Jensen | Peter Jensen,Staff Writer

The Orioles' first night game turned out to be standing room only for Baltimore's newest transit system, and a fleet of buses had to be dispatched to move hundreds of customers who might otherwise have been stranded.

Maryland Transit Administration officials reported that the Central Light Rail station in Timonium was so flooded with passengers that they were forced to load 570 into eight buses and drive them to the game.

Planners had been worried that the light rail system might be unable to handle the crowds if a large number of riders showed up in a relatively narrow time frame, as they apparently did yesterday.

The 13-mile Timonium-to-Camden Yards rail line normally requires a 15-minute interval between trains, each of which can hold up to 400 people.

Officials estimated that light rail carried about 4,600 people to last night's game. That is about the same number the system handled Monday, but few customers arrived three hours early, as they had done for Opening Day.

"We accommodated a lot of people," said Ronald J. Hartman, MTA's administrator. "It was a huge crowd on light rail, bigger than we've dealt with so far."

Rail turned out to be the popular way to get to last night's game. The Maryland Rail Commuter (MARC) train system carried about 1,282 people. The trains were so crowded that some fans were forced to stand in the aisles all the way from Washington's Union Station.

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