BALTIMORE – Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail is working toward a high-speed magnetic levitation train from Washington D.C. to New York by way of Baltimore.
The Baltimore Banner has reported that private company, Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail is working toward a high-speed magnetic levitation train from Washington D.C. to New York by way of Baltimore. According to the report, the private company reached a settlement outside of court with Westport Capital Development that “allows for construction of a rail tunnel underneath housing and mixed-use developments planned for the South Baltimore waterfront.”
After failing to negotiate the Westport property purchase with Stonewall Capital, Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail filed to have the property condemned. Phase 1 of construction would entail one of two plans. The first alignment would run 75% underground (a total of 27 miles). The second would place just under 26 miles underground. However, both alignments would run “fully underground from Baltimore to a point south of Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, and then again from Greenbelt to Washington D.C.” Once finished, the tunnel would be part of the largest rail passenger tunnels in the U.S.
The cost of the project is estimated to be $10 billion, and $323 million “would be required to build one mile of tunneled passenger rail for the percentage of tunneling proposed by the Maryland Maglev project, a higher price than other countries around the world due to issues like permitting and high labor costs.” As of reporting, a funding plan has not been revealed.
Ashley Mcmillian, Director of Community Outreach and Communications for Northeast Maglev, said the Westport tunnel was “always part of the plan,” and that “one of two possible Baltimore station locations has yet to be finalized. . . Nothing has changed with the preferred alternatives that are under review by the Federal Railroad Administration.” According to the report, the agency has paused an EIS (Environmental Impact Study) on the two proposed routes, and this must be conducted before an alternative is chosen and a construction timeline is finished.