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Rail News: Amtrak

Amtrak to begin construction activities for B&P tunnel replacement

Early construction activities for the first phase of the $6 billion project begin tomorrow and are expected to wrap up in early summer.
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Amtrak announced yesterday it’s ready to begin early construction activities tomorrow for the $6 billion B&P Tunnel Replacement Program in West Baltimore and Halethorpe, Maryland.

The work calls for replacing aging wood ties with new concrete ties, installing new rail and completing track drainage improvements. The upgrades will enable high-speed operations on all four tracks in the track segment, Amtrak officials said in a press release.

The first phase of construction is expected to conclude in summer, with additional work related to the replacement of an existing turnout in Winans to be completed in a future construction phase.

The B&P is Amtrak’s oldest tunnel on the Northeast Corridor at nearly 150 years old. The 1.4-mile tunnel connects Baltimore to Washington, D.C., and has a number of age-related issues that cause excessive water infiltration, structure deterioration and rail service delays, Amtrak officials said.

The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal-State Partnership for the State of Good Repair Grant Program. In the future, the project also will be supported by funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Amtrak officials said.

Future work includes the construction of new bridges, rail systems and track; an ADA-accessible West Baltimore MARC commuter-rail station; and the new Frederick Douglass Tunnel, which will include two new high-capacity tubes for electrified passenger trains.