The first station, Lanham, 0.75 miles (1.21 km) north of the current station, consisted of a small shelter and an asphalt platform served by a few Penn Central trains.
The second station, Capital Beltway Station, sat just inside the Capital Beltway. Opened on January 16, 1969, it was served by Penn Central (later Amtrak) Metroliners.
On November 20, 1978, Washington Metro opened its New Carrollton station, along with the Cheverly, Deanwood, Landover and Minnesota Avenue stations, marking the completion of 7.4 miles (11.9 km) of Metro track northeast from the Stadium–Armory station.
In the early 1980s, the state of Maryland took over commuter rail from Conrail (the successor to the Penn Central). The newly renamed MARC service was moved to Capital Beltway Station and Lanham station was abandoned. In 1983, Amtrak and MARC shifted service to the New Carrollton station, using a new island platform next to the existing Washington Metro platform.
The platforms of Capital Beltway were eventually demolished, although as of 2010 the concrete cap over the stairs that led to one of the platforms was still visible. The former station building off Cobb Road is now used by the Maryland DOT and the station's parking lot is used for road maintenance vehicles.
From: http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=30368 (NellieBly)
The original Capital Beltway station was north of the
current New Carrolton station. A concrete cap on the
stairway leading to the underpass can still be seen
between tracks 1 and 2 (platforms were adjacent to
Tracks 2 and 3, just as at the current station).
One major difference was that trains stopping at the Beltway would have to use the gauntlet track, while through trains went "straight rail". What this meant was that northbound trains got an "advance approach diverging" and then an "approach diverging" at Landover interlocking and had to run at 45 mph all the way to the stop (about a mile). As I recall, both platforms were gauntleted.
The current station is set up so that freights are gauntleted away from the platform on Track 2, but passenger trains (including those that don't stop) make the straight rail move.
The Capital Beltway station also featured a narrow and drippy tunnel with long, steep flights of stairs -- a real joy with luggage. But hey, it was a start.
Also from: http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=30368 (RRspatch)
Ah, Capital Beltway station. Now that brings back
lots of memories.
I grew up in the city of New Carrollton and spend many a day sitting on the platform watching GG1's, Metroliners, E33 and E44 pass by. Later on I hired on with Amtrak as a tower operator on the then Baltimore division. One of the towers I worked at was "Landover Tower" which controlled the signals and switches at Capital Beltway. When Capital Beltway closed, Landover then controlled "Carroll" interlocking which is located where Capital Beltway used to be. A little later on in my career with Amtrak I controlled both "Carroll" and "Landover" as the CETC 1 dispatcher in Philadelphia.
The station was built as part of the Metroliner High Speed project back in the late 60's/early 70's. There were two platforms. One was between No.1 and No.2 track serving No.2 track. The other platform was along side No.3 track. Both platforms were connected by a tunnel that connected to the station building. The station building was a green (Penn Central green?) pre-fab building that had a small ticket office, two restrooms and a waiting room that held maybe 20 to 30 people.
The photographer is standing on the No.2 track
platform looking north. The gauntlet tracks can be
clearly seen in this picture with the train on the
platform track. The highway bridge in the background is
the Capital Beltway bridge. (the picture he is
describing is the one below by Gary Oltmann)
As you can see in the picture, the platforms were wooden with a blacktop overlay. Towards the end in the early 80's the platforms started to sag noticeably.
Today not much remains of Capital Beltway. The tunnels have been capped and the platforms torn down to make way for the switches at "Carroll". The station building still stands and is now used by the Maryland DOT. The parking lot is used to park highway maintenance trucks and a large salt dome stands at the north end of the lot.
As far as the Lanham MARC station is concerned, MARC trains stopped there until the station at New Carrollton opened in 1983. The station was located at the old Lanham road crossing (which was closed when the Metroliners started running). MARC trains never did stop at Capital Beltway.