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Rail News: CSX Transportation

Maryland lawmakers request CSX update on Howard Street Tunnel plan


Maryland's Democratic congressional delegation has asked CSX Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer James Foote for a status report on the proposed Howard Street Tunnel project in Baltimore.

In December 2017, CSX reentered discussions about the project with state and local partners after dropping out of the talks in November. CSX and the state previously agreed to provide a combined $270 million toward the estimated $425 million total cost. The state would seek federal funds to pay for the remainder.
The long-planned tunnel reconstruction and clearance project would eliminate height restrictions to enable double-stacked intermodal trains to move to and from the Port of Baltimore.

Last week, the state's Democratic congressional delegation wrote to Foote to request an update on the Class I's plans for the project. The letter was signed by U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and U.S. Reps. Steny Hoyer, Elijah Cummings, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, John Delaney, Anthony Brown and Jamie Raskin.

"It has been over eight months since you met with the congressional delegation and representatives from the Maryland Department of Transportation on the cancellation of this project. During that meeting we expressed our frustration at the abrupt announcement cancelling the program without adequate explanation and after years of effort by Maryland's Congressional Delegation to secure federal funding for this project," the letter stated.

After that meeting, CSX officials indicated they would keep an open mind about the project and reexamine the their earlier decision to cancel, the senators and representatives wrote.

"As the Port of Baltimore continues to see record growth both in international cargo value and volume, a solution to the Howard Street Tunnel bottleneck is more important than ever. We hope that you agree and look forward to hearing from you regarding CSX’s plans for the Howard Street Tunnel Project," the letter concluded.

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