My regular Penn train home last night - the 640pm departure was still sitting in Union Station at 653pm because the 534pm never left. At first MARC attributed the problem with the 534pm train to late equipment then it blamed an interference with an Acela train, finally it canceled the train citing mechanical problems.
An earlier train (446pm) was delayed by about 20 minutes because of speed restrictions and a following train (520pm) was operating two cars short.
The above problems explain why the 605pm left 35 minutes late at capacity and why my train was filled to the brim with standing room only. Though I'm still confused as to the real reason why the 534pm never left, or was it a combination of factors?
Here are the different explantions sent out by MARC:
Penn: Marc 436 (534p WAS Dp) has been cancelled due to mechanical problem with locomotive. Marc 538 will be departing WASH approximately 10 mins late.
Penn: Marc 436 (534p WAS Dp) will be departing WASH approx 30 mins late holding in terminal for a departing Amtrak Acela.
Penn: Marc 436 (534p WAS Dp) expected to depart WASH approx 20 mins late due to late equipment.
The problems continued throughout the night. The 725pm from Baltimore to Washington was also cut, with MARC citing shortage of equipment. Amtrak rescued passengers who were going to BWI, New Carrolton and D.C., but left stranded those who had planned to stop at Odenton until the next and last train left at 9:15pm.
Monday was a long day for many MARC commuters, who got home anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour late.