Even tunnels want to be taller.
The 121-year-old Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore needs to be taller. Today the tunnel cannot handle double-stacked intermodal containers used by Class 1 freight trains. That will all change in the future, as Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced that the state is the beneficiary of a $125 million federal grant. Maryland would like to use the money on expanding the Howard Street Tunnel so freight trains could reach the Port of Baltimore.
Officials have been working with CSX, which is a primary user of the tunnel. Funding also will be coming from the state and CSX. The Class 1 says it will provide $91 million.
Hogan says the reconstruction tunnel will break a coast-wide bottleneck, and will help boost the economy around the Port of Baltimore as well as throughout the rest of the state.
Growing frustrated with the existing tunnel, at one point CSX said it would no longer throw money to maintain the infrastructure, but changed its stance as long as Maryland would continue securing public funding.
This is all part of CSX’s National Gateway vision, one that strives for intermodal and carload shipment success along the East Coast. In 2018, CSX completed the reconstruction of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel in Washington, D.C.
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