The engineers and conductors that operate MARC Trains are not employees of the MTA, rather, they work for Amtrak (Penn Line) or Bombardier Transportation Services (Brunswick and Camden Lines). While they are not MTA employees, we consider our Amtrak and Bombardier partners part of the MTA family. I am sad to report that we have lost one of our family members.
MARC Penn Line Conductor Barry Durm passed away on Saturday after a brief second battle with cancer; the relapse was diagnosed before Christmas. Barry worked a number of MARC Penn Line trains, most recently trains 419 and 414 in the morning and 536 in the evening. Prior to those trains, he worked for many years on trains 413 and 612 in the morning and 641 and 642 in the evening.
Barry was an excellent conductor and had a great rapport with our customers. He always had a friendly smile on his face and welcomed everyone on his train. When he faced problems, such as a train with mechanical problems, a passenger refusing to pay the proper fare, or other adverse situations, he handled them with professionalism and tact. He was the embodiment of MTA’s mission statement: providing safe, efficient, reliable transit across Maryland with world-class customer service.
On a personal level, Barry was one of the first Amtrak employees I met when I came to work for MARC in May 2009. I enjoyed working with him and especially valued riding trains with him -- we'd take time to talk about what was going on in our lives. He spent most of that time bragging about the accomplishments of his children – one son is an Amtrak Police Officer who has been promoted several times, his other son is an accomplished musician who performs in Baltimore venues, and, of course, he always gushed about his grandchildren. During football season, conversations often centered around his beloved Baltimore Ravens (Barry was a season ticket holder).
Family will receive friends today (Wednesday, February 1) at Sterling Ashton Schwab Witzke Funeral Home of Catonsville, Inc., 1630 Edmondson Ave., Catonsville, MD 21228 on Wednesday from 3:00-5:00 and 7:00-9:00pm, where services will be held on Thursday, February 2 at 10:00am.
MARC passengers are welcome to post their condolences on the funeral home’s website or below in the comments section of this blog. We will ensure that all comments posted here are shared with Barry’s family.
David Johnson (DJ)
Assistant Chief Transportation Officer
MARC Train and MTA Commuter Bus