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Rail News: CSX Transportation

CSX, Maryland find extra funding for Howard Street Tunnel project


CSX and the state of Maryland have agreed to $100 million in additional funding needed to advance the expansion of the long-planned Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore.

In July, Maryland won a $125 million federal grant for the project, which will be conducted in partnership with CSX. The project calls for eliminating height restrictions in the 121-year-old tunnel to allow double-stack trains to move to and from the Port of Baltimore.

The work will create double-stack clearance in the tunnel and under 22 bridges between Baltimore and Philadelphia.

However, the grant that Maryland obtained in July was $103 million less than the state had requested for the $466 million project. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan pledged to work with the railroad, which owns the tunnel, and other unnamed stakeholders to come up with the remaining amount.

Now, the state and railroad have "identified a variety of state, private and federal formula sources to close the funding gap,” Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn wrote in a Nov. 25 letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, the Baltimore Sun reported last week.

Previously, Maryland had proposed providing $147 million for the work, with CSX committing $91 million. Rahn's letter did not break down how much each entity or other stakeholders will contribute, according to the newspaper.

“I am pleased to report that our efforts have paid off,” Rahn wrote. “At this point, the $466 million project is fully funded.”

A CSX spokeswoman declined to say how much the Class I will pay toward the project until the state makes a public announcement, the newspaper reported.