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Rail line extension still unclear

March 16, 1998

Rail line extension still unclear

HANCOCK (AP) - Residents of Hancock and neighboring Morgan County, W.Va., got good news and bad news at a meeting with Maryland officials about a proposed extension of MARC commuter rail service to the area.

Representatives of Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., and Rep. Bob Wise., D-W.Va., expressed support for the project but track owner CSX Corp. would have to be persuaded to allow more passenger traffic, Morgan County Commission Chairman Philip Maggio said Friday.

He said Maryland Mass Transit Administration planners told local supporters Thursday night that CSX doesn't want more ridership on its rails because freight trains are more profitable.

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The planners advised supporters to hire a consultant to study potential passenger revenues and station construction and operating costs, Maggio said.

The proposed station site across the Potomac River from Hancock, Md., is 23 miles beyond MARC's Brunswick line terminus in Martinsburg, W.Va.

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