The Maryland Transit Administration is spending $153 million on 54 new multi-level passenger rail cars for the MARC commuter rail system.
The cars are expected to begin arriving in spring of 2013. Many of them will replace old ones in the fleet, and overall the rail system will see 16 additional cars.
The new cars will have more seats than the older ones. There also will be four doors on each side of each car, which could improve board and de-boarding times.
The federal government is paying up to 80 percent of the cost of the new cars, with the state of Maryland covering the rest.
More than 34,000 riders board MARC trains each weekday, with a majority on the Penn Line running between Baltimore and Washington.