Amtrak releases B&P Tunnel Replacement Program renderings

© Amtrak

On Wednesday, Amtrak released new images of the renderings of the B&P Tunnel Replacement Program.

The B&P Tunnel Replacement Program will build two new tunnel tubes, primarily serving MARC and Amtrak passengers, which will be renamed the Frederick Douglass Tunnel, after the Maryland native and civil rights leader who escaped to his freedom from slavery by boarding a train in Baltimore.

The existing B&P Tunnel in Baltimore dates to the Civil War era and is the oldest tunnel along this section of the Northeast Corridor. Officials said it is a bottleneck for the operations of MARC and Amtrak passenger trains. The 1.4-mile tunnel connects Amtrak’s Penn Station to MARC’s West Baltimore station, but it is plagued by age-related issues like water infiltration, deteriorating structures, and a sinking floor. The existing tunnel does not include any modern fire and life safety systems, officials said, and requires extensive maintenance.

The replacement program will modernize the four-mile section of the NEC, including two new high-capacity tunnel tubes to serve electrified passenger trains, new roadway and railroad bridges, new rail systems, track, and railroad infrastructure, and a new ADA-accessible West Baltimore MARC station.

Construction on the project started in March and includes replacing aging wooden ties with concrete ties, installing new rail, and completing track drainage improvements. The project, funded through a State of Good Repair Program grant, will allow high-speed operations on all four tracks.

Amtrak and its partners will eventually advance the $6 billion program for funding through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).