President Biden Joins Amtrak to Kick Off B&P Tunnel Replacement

On 30 January 2023, Amtrak was joined by President Biden, the US Department of Transportation and Maryland officials to execute the Project Kickoff Agreement for the B&P Tunnel Replacement Program in Baltimore.

The partners also celebrated the Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with the Baltimore-DC Building and Construction Trades Council for the first phase of the project.

B&P Tunnel
This programme aims to transform the Northeast Corridor (NEC) in West Baltimore, with almost five billion USD (4.73bn EUR) of construction planned
Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner said:

“Replacing this Civil War-era B&P tunnel will nearly triple train capacity on this critical section of the Northeast Corridor for the nine million annual Amtrak and MARC customers who rely on this vital connection.

“As we work with Maryland and our labor partners to deliver the new Frederick Douglass Tunnel, we are grateful for essential funding that the Biden Administration has designated for this project, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the strong support of our many federal, state and local partners.”

Once work is complete, service reliability, capacity and speed on this section of the Northeast Corridor (NEC) in West Baltimore will increase from 30mph to up to 110mph.

The B&P Tunnel replacement will thus save commuters time by eliminating the largest rail bottleneck between Washington, DC and New Jersey.

Paul J. Wiedefeld, Acting Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation said:

“We will continue to work closely with all of our partners to advance the Frederick Douglass Tunnel and support the region with innovative transportation solutions. This critical infrastructure project will improve both passenger and commuter rail for Marylanders.”

Maryland intends to commit 450 million USD in state funding to support this infrastructure project and the construction of the new Frederick Douglass Tunnel.

Meanwhile, Amtrak’s intended financial commitment stands at approximately 750 million USD.

After receipt of federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Amtrak is scheduled to launch early construction activities this year.

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