Expansion of MARC rail service could boost tourism

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HANCOCK, Md. (WDVM) — The MARC commuter rail service has been a convenient mode of transportation for residents in and around West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle for decades.

But plans are underway to extend the service even further into Western Maryland. Washington County Delegate Paul Corderman has been working with the state Department of Transportation and other legislators on the House Appropriations Committee in Annapolis to utilize former B & O railway lines into the region. A feasibility study, costing $3.7 million, should be completed by the end of next year.

Hancock town manager Joe Gilbert sees the proposed expansion benefitting not only commuters to Frederick, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., but adding to weekend tourist traffic to take advantage of the scenic Potomac River trails which add to Hancock’s charm.

The study is also exploring ways to address more public transportation options around the congested interstates, I-70 and I-81 around Hagerstown.

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