Maryland, CSX say they have funds for Baltimore tunnel project

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BALTIMORE — The state of Maryland and CSX Transportation have found the funding necessary to proceed with rebuilding of the Howard Street Tunnel, a project which will allow double-stack container trains to reach the Port of Baltimore.

In July, the project received a $125 million federal grant for the project [see “Federal funding will allow Howard Street Tunnel project to begin," Trains News Wire, July 23, 2019], but that amount — less than the state and railroad had sought — left the project $103 million short of full funding for its estimated $466 million cost.

Now, the state and railroad have “identified a variety of state, private and federal” funds to close the gap, the Baltimore Sun reports, citing a letter from Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. The letter did not detail the sources; they will not be disclosed until a forthcoming kickoff meeting, according to a state DOT spokeswoman.

The long-discussed project was sidelined in 2017 when CSX pulled out of the plans, saying it no longer considered the project worth the funds involved [see “Maryland wants explanation for CSX Howard Street Tunnel decision,” Trains News Wire, Nov. 2, 2017]. It reversed that stance the following year [see “CSX Transportation commits to Bailtmore tunnel clearance project,” Trains News Wire, Dec. 14, 2018].

The 1.4-tunnel was completed in 1890 by the Baltimore & Ohio.

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