Posts Tagged ‘tunnels’

Baltimore Tunnel Replacement Advances

July 8, 2021

Plans have been announced for replacing the Baltimore rail tunnel in Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.

Amtrak said the program is part of a long-range plan to work toward replacement of the B&P Tunnel with a new tunnel to be named after Frederick Douglass, who was a a 19th century abolitionist leader born in Maryland.

The B&P Tunnel is 150 years old and is plagued by deterioration, water infiltration and a sinking floor. The tunnel is 1.4 miles long.

These problems have caused chronic delays for Amtrak and MARC commuter trains.

Officials with Amtrak and the Maryland Department of Transportation  said replacing the B&P Tunnel will be multiple step, long-range project.

In the first phase workers will construct two new high-capacity tunnel tubes for electrified passenger trains.

Additional tunnel tubes are being deferred but will be designed to accommodate freight trains.

MDOT said MARC commuter trains using the new tunnels will be electrified.

Tunnel construction is expected to cost $4 billion and still needs full funding. In the meantime Amtrak is performing design work and has started to acquire property in preparation for construction.

Construction could begin on the tunnel’s southern approach within the next two years.

Capitol Limited at Harpers Ferry

August 8, 2017

Amtrak’s westbound Capitol Limited is shown crossing the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, on July 25, 2017.

Nearly a week later, the Nos. 29 and 30 began operating only between Chicago and Pittsburgh after a CSX freight train derailment on Aug. 2  closed the Keystone Subdivision at Hyndman, Pennsylvania, for several days.

Rail traffic began moving through the area on Sunday, Aug. 6. The Capitol resumed serving Harpers Ferry and other points east of Pittsburgh that day.

In the interim, passengers had been accommodated by a bus.

Amtrak, Ann Arbor Agree on Tunnel Project

May 24, 2017

While Ann Arbor officials await action on the city’s bid to build a new Amtrak station, it has reached an agreement with the passenger carrier about the first steps in being allowed to build a tunnel beneath the tracks.

The Allen Creek Railroad Berm Opening Project will enable storm water to more easily reach the Huron River and therefore reduce flooding.

The project is also expected to allow pedestrians and cyclists to reach riverfront recreation areas.

The tracks used by Amtrak are owned by the Michigan Department of Transportation, but Amtrak is the primary approval agency.

Amtrak is requiring the city to enter into a design-phase agreement and to reimburse the railroad Amtrak for its costs.

By its estimate, Amtrak said work in the design phase of the project will cost $71,940. The Ann Arbor City Council has authorized a reimbursement of up to $97,020.

“The amount being paid to Amtrak at this time is $71,940,” said City Engineer Nick Hutchinson. “As a contingency, we obtained authorization from council for a total amount of $97,000 should more be needed.”

Any unused money for design work will be returned by Amtrak to the city.

“This action by the city of Ann Arbor is another example of our close working relationship with the city, Michigan DOT and Amtrak for improvements to facilities and service at the busiest Amtrak station in the state,” said Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari.

Ann Arbor officials have said that pedestrians and cyclists will be able to use the tunnel beneath the railroad tracks used by Amtrak’s Chicago-Detroit (Pontiac) Wolverine Service.

Federal Emergency Management Agency grants are expected to cover 75 percent of the storm water portion of the project. Construction is expected to begin in summer 2018.