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The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is calling for input from freight- and passenger-rail stakeholders to help set priorities and goals for an updated state rail plan.
Maryland's State Rail Plan lists rail projects and outlines public and private investments and policies that help MDOT work with the railroad industry and others to support rail needs, MDOT officials said in a press release.
Updated every five years, the plan focuses on the Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) commuter railroad, Amtrak and freight operators, including CSX, Norfolk Southern Railway and regional operators across the state. The plan does not include light-rail or subway service.
MDOT is seeking comments on riders’ and stakeholders’ impressions of existing service, suggestions for new or expanded infrastructure, and priorities for future rail service. The online survey will be open through Jan. 15, 2021.
After the public comment period, an advisory committee will review comments, hold meetings and conduct stakeholder interviews. A draft of the updated plan is expected to be prepared by summer 2021.
State rail plans are required under the federal Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, and serve as a guide and resource during applications for federal funds through grants and other programs.
Also, the MARC and Amtrak passenger-rail elements of the plan will help inform the commuter- and intercity-rail component of MDOT's first-ever statewide transit plan, which will provide a 50-year vision of all modes of coordinated local, regional and intercity transit across the state.