New Carrollton, MD (NCR)
Constructed in 1983 as an intermodal facility, the New Carrollton station serves Amtrak and MARC trains, Metrorail and local and regional buses.
4300 Garden City Drive
New Carrollton, MD 20784
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 173,304
- Facility Ownership: Amtrak
- Parking Lot Ownership: Prince George's County, WMATA
- Platform Ownership: Amtrak
- Track Ownership: Amtrak
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
Constructed in 1983 as an intermodal facility, the New Carrollton station serves Amtrak and Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) trains, Washington Metrorail, Metro buses, MTA buses and county transit, as well as the many commuting drivers who connect to transit and Amtrak. This is an end-of-the-line station for the Washington Metro Orange Line and will also be a terminal station for its new Purple Line when that is completed. Situated on about 36 acres straddling the Northeast Corridor rails, the busy New Carrollton facility is currently the focus of the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (WMATA) recently-revived transportation-oriented development project for this part of Prince George’s County.
While the current New Carrollton station dates from the late 20th century, the Pennsylvania Railroad’s (PRR) Baltimore and Potomac Railroad first passed through this area in July of 1872 to join Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Md. Riders who have made this journey are familiar with the overhead catenary that provides power for the trains; the line from Washington up to New York was first electrified between 1928 and 1935. After the PRR’s merger with the New York Central to form the Penn Central in 1968, the railroad began to develop its premium express Metroliner Service between Washington and New York, the fastest in the U.S. at the time at 2 hours and 59 minutes. At its inauguration in late 1969, the Metroliner boasted hourly service and luxurious cars the equal of any airlines of the day.
Penn Central built the first New Carrollton area station to serve the Metroliner, completing it in 1969 for the commencement of that service. At that time, the stop was called the Capital Beltway station, as it is just inside Washington’s Beltway, Interstate 495, slightly north of its intersection with U.S. 50 and just east of Washington, D.C; its postal address was Lanham, Md. This modest facility consisted of a prefabricated green metal building and two high platforms linked with a pedestrian tunnel underneath, reached via steep stairways.
The Penn Central Metroliner and other routes, such as the Night Owl,continued to serve the Capital Beltway station when Amtrak took over passenger rail service in 1971. However, Amtrak did not take over the Northeast Corridor, on which the station lies, until April 1, 1976 as Penn Central was reorganizing into Conrail. The Metroliner Service continued until 2006, when the Acela Express service fully replaced Metroliners and do not stop at New Carrolton .
WMATA opened its New Carrollton stop on January 20, 1978, the fifth station opening of the rail transit system. This newer stop is sited about a half-mile southwest of the Capital Beltway station, at one end of the Carrollton turn-around yard. In the fall of 1983, Amtrak closed the Capital Beltway station, which was difficult to reach by car despite being located next to major freeways, and moved to WMATA’s New Carrollton location, which provided better access, much more parking and connection to transit.
The New Carrollton station provides an indoor waiting area with ticketing service for Amtrak and MARC passengers, as well as accessible high level platforms for convenient boarding. Typical of WMATA stations of this era, the interior is underneath the raised platforms, and features glass and unadorned formed concrete with large rectangular open spaces. The platforms provide cantilevered overhanging shelter from the elements.
The somewhat marshy and low-lying grounds where New Carrollton would be built were in colonial times known as “Terrapin Thicket” for the remarkable abundance of turtles there. In 1677, Ninian Beall was given a parcel in this area at the end of his indentured servitude. The Beall family eventually owned 13,000 acres from Upper Marlboro, Md. to Georgetown, and family members have been spread across Virginia and Maryland into modern times. However, the area where the stations would be built eventually became the property of the Lanham family, for which the small town was named.
New Carrollton itself did not appear until the 1950s. The property was then part of the estate of horse-trainer Edward L. Mahoney, who had a track and training stables set up there. Upon Mahoney’s death in 1957, developer Albert Turner purchased the estate. In 1953, the state legislature had incorporated the area into the city of Carrollton, named for Charles Carroll of Carrollton, a prominent figure from Maryland history in the American Revolutionary War. Carroll also laid the first stone for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad on July 4, 1828. By 1966, as Maryland had three locales named “Carrollton,” the city council changed the name to New Carrollton by voter referendum to reduce confusion with the other municipalities.
As early as 1987, WMATA sought to open the area directly around the New Carrollton station to transportation-oriented development. Large office buildings have gone up there, including the massive three-building complex for 5,000 employees belonging to the Internal Revenue Service directly across from the station. In the summer of 2011, WMATA announced a new team assembled to design a fresh plan for the 39-acre site, of which the agency owns 23 and the State of Maryland 16 acres. The state and agency have thus far contributed $1 million toward planning an urban development that could potentially include 2.6 million square feet of offices, shops, hotels and up to 3,000 residential units.
The staffed New Carrollton station provides ticketing and assistance with baggage, and is served by 27 daily trains.
- 5000 Short Term Parking Spaces
- 500 Long Term Parking Spaces
- Accessible Payphones
- Accessible Platform
- Accessible Restrooms
- Accessible Waiting Room
- Accessible Water Fountain
- Dedicated Parking
- Elevator Accessible
- Enclosed Waiting Area
- Help With Luggage
- High Platform
- Parking Attendant
- Quik Trak Kiosk
- Ticket Office