NEC Projects

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Baltimore & Potomac (B&P) Tunnel Replacement

Project Partners

  • U.S. DOT Federal Railroad Administration
  • Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT)
  • Amtrak

Project Benefits

  • Increased Capacity
  • Safety
  • Connectivity
  • Trip Time Reductions
TunnelTunnel

Project Status

NEPA

Available Funding

$60 M

Built just after the Civil War in 1873, the B&P Tunnel is amongst the oldest infrastructure along the Northeast Corridor. Currently one-fifth of Amtrak's passenger trips and one-third of its ticket revenues depend on travel through Baltimore, and the tunnel is critical to commuter and local freight operations that support states all along the Northeast Corridor. The tunnel is a primary chokepoint along the NEC as train volume is constricted and the tunnel's tight curvature requires trains to drop speeds to 30 mph. These limitations have impeded overall efforts to improve capacity and trip times along the NEC and the tunnels require significant rehabilitation to extend their useful life, which cannot be cost effectively performed while the tunnel remains in service. Further, with 21 percent growth of passenger trip projected by 2050, replacement and rehabilitation of the tunnel is all the more critical.

In 2010, Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) was awarded $60 million in ARRA HSIPR funding for preliminary engineering and environment review documentation. FRA and MDOT are managing the environmental review process, while Amtrak is managing the project as the owner of the infrastructure. In September 2013, FRA and MDOT secured an additional $1.5 million in funding to be used for tunnel inspections. A Record of Decision is scheduled for spring 2017. For more information please refer to the project website www.bptunnel.com.