A tale of two train stations in Baltimore

October 12, 2015

Some definite improvements for passengers, but rusted-out steps in West Baltimore and long-stalled repairs at Penn Station

A severely dilapidated stairway at the West Baltimore MARC train station – so rusted-out you could see daylight through it in places – was the subject of an October 2013 story in Baltimore Brew.Website Insert Gathering of Professionals 1 copy

We contrasted the potentially unsafe conditions at this station, located in one of the city’s poorest communities, with the $1 million restoration Amtrak was undertaking at Penn Station near Baltimore’s downtown.

So how do things look two years later? In both places, much improved, but with some lingering problems.

The rust-riddled metal staircase we spotlighted on the east side of the tracks facing the West Baltimore station’s parking lot has been repaired, and a new sturdy-looking wooden one was added.

But the step risers on the west side of the tracks, out of sight of the commuter lot, are rusted-out and see-through, we noticed on our visit there this week.

Meanwhile, improvements are clearly evident at the Beaux Arts Penn Station – there were the renovated restrooms and other new features as well, including an ADA compliant sign showing real-time train status, a video-enabled welcome sign, bike racks, blooming begonias, outside seating and more.

And yet for months, the station’s west entrance, facing Charles Street, has been obstructed by concrete planters blocking off a seemingly-stalled project to repair four steps.

Passengers are directed to walk around and use the front entrance.

Read the full story from Fern Shen in Baltimore Brew by clicking here.


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