I. Project Background
Transportation infrastructure is critical to the continued prosperity of our businesses, institutions, and communities. We operate in an increasingly inter-connected and global economy, in which we rely upon a complex transportation network comprised of highways, railways, airways, and waterways. Rising energy prices, environmental constraints, and shrinking budgets demand attention toward efficiency and green transportation initiatives. In order for Maryland’s businesses and communities to flourish in this global economy, the State’s local infrastructure must keep pace.
Significant investments in transportation infrastructure are already slated to roll out over the next few years—some in Maryland; others in neighboring states and abroad. These infrastructure investments include the following:
The Panama Canal Authority is leading an effort to expand the Panama Canal, which will double the capacity of the canal. This project creates an opportunity for the Port of Baltimore to capture a new container traffic originating in Asian countries—traffic that, previously, by-passed eastern ports and traveled instead to ports on the west coast before arriving to Maryland via truck and train.
Port of Baltimore
The Maryland Port Administration and Ports America are working under a 50-year, joint-partnership agreement that has brought new investment to the Port of Baltimore. This will make it possible for the Port to accommodate additional traffic traveling from the Panama Canal.
These important investments include the addition of a berth with an operating depth of 50 feet and four super-post Panamax cranes. This operating-berth depth is required for the type of mega-ships that will soon be able to travel to Maryland via the Panama Canal. When this work is completed in mid-2012, Baltimore is one of only two ports on the east coast with this operating depth.
CSX Transportation, Inc. and its affiliates (CSX) are working with the U.S. Department of Transportation with support from Governors in six states and the District of Columbia to raise the vertical height of bridges and tunnels along CSX’s rail network and build intermodal facilities in six key markets. These improvements will occur over a phased development schedule as part of an ongoing project known as the National Gateway.
This $850 million public-private partnership will improve the flow of rail traffic throughout the nation by creating a new double-stacked rail corridor that connects Baltimore and other key mid-Atlantic ports to markets in the Midwest and the South.
By definition, double-stack trains carry two containers on top of one another on a single car. In this manner a double-stack train can transport up to twice the amount of freight as a single-stack train of equal length. Encouraging use of double-stack trains will result in fewer highway miles traveled, faster connecting service, and lower overall transportation costs—savings that will alleviate pressure on our highways and lower the cost of doing business in the State of Maryland.
The State of Maryland is poised to capitalize upon these investments by constructing a new rail intermodal facility capable of transferring containers between “modes”—highway and rail—and connecting to CSX’s double-stack rail network. A new intermodal facility will allow Baltimore, the State of Maryland, and the greater Baltimore-Washington region to participate in an emerging double-stack rail network and capture shipping-related jobs, business taxes, fees, and economic activity that might otherwise be diverted to competing ports and facilities in neighboring states.
II. Project Description
The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and CSX are working together to relocate CSX’s existing facility—currently located at Seagirt Marine Terminal—to a new venue south of Baltimore’s Howard Street Tunnel. CSX will continue to provide train service supporting Port of Baltimore international customers at Seagirt Marine Terminal. This project is a key component of the National Gateway and will allow a more efficient flow of goods traveling along CSX’s emerging double-stack rail network.
After CSX rebuilds its regional intermodal facility—to be located near but not at the Port of Baltimore—the land currently occupied by CSX at the Seagirt Marine Terminal will then be available to accommodate the increased flow of international shipping traffic passing through the Panama Canal.
The presence of such a facility in the Baltimore area will put Maryland in a critical position within CSX’s emerging double-stack rail network. This important project will dramatically leverage the economic benefits of recent investments at the Seagirt Terminal, along the National Gateway corridor, and at the Panama Canal, while strengthening the Port of Baltimore’s position as a key port of entry for international shipping.
A new rail intermodal facility will serve the State of Maryland by transferring goods between trucks and trains for either “long-haul” rail service to markets outside of the region or “short-haul” truck delivery to local warehouses, retailers and other businesses within the region. Trucks and highways accommodate the delivery of goods within the regional market, while trains and railroads more efficiently ship goods traveling longer distances. The intersection of both trains and trucks at a single facility allows this shipping network to operate more productively—and at lower costs, to both businesses and consumers.
The Baltimore Rail Intermodal Facility will be a state-of-the-art project. The facility will incorporate the use of green technology, electric cranes, alternative energy sources, directional lighting, and the latest in storm water management practices.
III. Project Schedule
The goal is to complete construction of the facility and begin operations in 2015.
For a more detailed schedule, please turn to the “Milestones” section of this web site or click here
IV. Project Location
In the Fall of 2012, MDOT and CSX announced that the new intermodal facility would be constructed at CSX’s Mount Clare Yard in southwest Baltimore City. The Mount Clare Yard is owned by CSX and currently used for railroad activities. To view a map of the Mount Clare Yard, click here
V. Public Outreach
MDOT and CSX are committed to working cooperatively with affected stakeholders to address issues that may arise as a result of this project. Public outreach for the Mt. Clare Yard facility will occur through local community and business association meetings. If you live or work near the proposed facility, please check with your local community or business association for a listing of their upcoming meetings and agenda. You may also email email@example.com to request a listing of upcoming meetings.