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A plan to replace the decrepit Baltimore & Potomac Tunnel in Maryland, which officials say is needed for safety reasons and to meet East Coast passenger and commercial rail needs, is moving forward after years of delays.

Amtrak and Maryland announced an agreement Friday on a $4 billion plan to build a replacement in the next decade. The railroad is completing the design and negotiating property acquisitions, while promising the tunnel will carry electric-powered trains to reduce environmental impacts on Baltimore neighborhoods along the new route.

https://www.washingtonpost.com...ltimore-rail-tunnel/

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Bruce's original link to The Washington Post opened and worked well for me here "down-under" in Australia. Didn't have to enter into any subscription to view the report.

Interesting stuff about the lack of maintenance on the Amtrack infrastructure. We were in the US a couple of years ago and were staying outside of Chicago, and caught the passenger service into the city every day. Couldn't help but notice the extent of "concrete cancer" in the supporting beams, and the degree of rust in the exposed steel superstructures, especially at the terminus in downtown Chicago. I took lots of photo's (much to my wife's dismay) to show the boys back home.

As a structural engineer (we specialized in Forensic Engineering - Failures and Catastrophes) I was so surprised to see the degradation in the structural supports and over-head power line supports.

Not saying we are any better here in Australia, but we don't let serious rust take that kind of a hold in any of our railway infrastructure.

Peter......Buco Australia.

We don't need to maintain no infrastructure! (Yes, I know its a double negative). Of course, we don't remember what it was like before we had the infrastructure and the benefits we get from it. I once read that before the interstate highway system the Kansas turnpike ended in an Oklahoma wheat field. I couldn't find that article but the following link should suffice. How fast can we go in reverse?

Gerry

https://www.oklahoman.com/arti...f-highway-completion

@gmorlitz posted:

We don't need to maintain no infrastructure! (Yes, I know its a double negative). Of course, we don't remember what it was like before we had the infrastructure and the benefits we get from it. I once read that before the interstate highway system the Kansas turnpike ended in an Oklahoma wheat field. I couldn't find that article but the following link should suffice. How fast can we go in reverse?

Gerry

https://www.oklahoman.com/arti...f-highway-completion

Interesting.  President Eisenhower did us a great service, together with the work that FDR had done in the 1930s.  Today I don't think anyone reasonable debates the need for upkeep and improvements, the issues are about the sources and uses of current and future dollars.  There's a lot of political stuff that gets into so I will leave it there.

The article implies the new tunnel will replace a single B&P tunnel whereas there are actually three existing tunnels - John Street, Wilson Street and Gilmore Street that collectively are considered the B&P tunnels - plural.

I also note there is no mention of the Union tunnels just north of Baltimore’s Penn Station. Perhaps they aren’t in as bad of shape?

The skeptic in me questions the 30,000 construction related jobs figure too but, c’est la vie. 🤷

Curt

Last edited by juniata guy
@Buco posted:

Bruce's original link to The Washington Post opened and worked well for me here "down-under" in Australia. Didn't have to enter into any subscription to view the report.

Interesting stuff about the lack of maintenance on the Amtrack infrastructure. We were in the US a couple of years ago and were staying outside of Chicago, and caught the passenger service into the city every day. Couldn't help but notice the extent of "concrete cancer" in the supporting beams, and the degree of rust in the exposed steel superstructures, especially at the terminus in downtown Chicago. I took lots of photo's (much to my wife's dismay) to show the boys back home.

As a structural engineer (we specialized in Forensic Engineering - Failures and Catastrophes) I was so surprised to see the degradation in the structural supports and over-head power line supports.

Not saying we are any better here in Australia, but we don't let serious rust take that kind of a hold in any of our railway infrastructure.

Peter......Buco Australia.

We have cold winters, with a lot of salt use which doesn’t help the steel in the concrete.  Plus for the most part in the US doesn’t care about mass transit or trains. So money gets allocated.  Plus lots of waist, botched gov programs, etc etc I could go on and on.

Last edited by superwarp1
@juniata guy posted:..............I also note there is no mention of the Union tunnels just north of Baltimore’s Penn Station. Perhaps they aren’t in as bad of shape?

Curt

Curt the Howard Street tunnels pose a different problem.  The height of the tunnels are 12" to 18" shy of allowing double stack intermodal operation which is vital to intermodal/marine terminal operation in Baltimore.  Here is a very interesting read on the approved with financing (?) CSX Howard Street tunnel project.   https://mpa.maryland.gov/Pages/hst.aspx

CSX back on board with project. https://www.bing.com/videos/se...detail&FORM=VIRE

Last edited by wild mary

Here is a short video from Amtrak.

The Ready to Build campaign showcases five critical investments - including the B&P Tunnel Replacement - that are vital to the realization of a renewed, modern passenger rail system.

Built just after the Civil War, the B&P Tunnel is one of the oldest and worst bottlenecks along the Northeast Corridor. Its capacity is constrained and sharp curvatures limit train speeds to 30 mph. The two-track tunnel will be replaced by a new tunnel that will allow for faster, more reliable and more frequent service.

Gary

@Bill N posted:

So where does that $4 billion come from?

Part Feds [Amtrak], part CSX, part Maryland [MARC] and maybe part NS.

I'm guessing the reason they don't talk about the Hudson River tunnel[s] is that $4B will be chump change to replace them.  Probably well over $10B in that case.  I don't know if they will even be able to use a TBM (tunnel boring machine) in either case given the geology.  

The Swiss did a 35+ Mile long rail tunnel deep in the Alps.  I wonder what we can do?

Hey Elon,  is the Boring company up for a real challenge?

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