The Federal Railroad Administration Deputy Administrator Amit Bose, the Governor of Maryland Larry Hogan and Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn have launched the Baltimore Penn Station redevelopment and platform expansion project.
The project is part of a USD 150 million investment of Amtrak to improve customer experience and grow passenger rail transport.
The construction works are carried out in phases to complete the station renovation and expansion over the next few years.
“The construction will serve as the catalyst to transform surrounding vacant land already owned by Amtrak into a mixed-use, transit-oriented development with up to one million square feet of new office, retail and residential space,” Bill Flynn said.
The Baltimore Penn Station redevelopment project is designed to expand and modernise the historic landmark to better accommodate passenger growth, significantly improve the customer experience and to create a revitalized civic space that is woven into the fabric of the community.
The station was built in 1911 and the last major renovation was completed in 1984, as part of the Northeast Corridor improvement programme.
Baltimore-based developer, Penn Station Partners, led by Beatty Development Group and Cross Street Partners, was announced as developer project in 2019.
In addition to station improvements, Amtrak is also breaking ground on platform improvements at the station to better accommodate the new Acela high-speed trains that are expected to enter passenger transport on Northeast Corridor in 2022, providing increased capacity, reliability and improved transport quality. To allow for greater operability of train service, the operator is reconstructing a low-level platform into an ADA compliant high-level platform and constructing a new platform. This work, along with a renewed overhead electrical system and an upgraded 48 km stretch of track between Baltimore and Washington Union Station, will enable operation at higher speeds. Once fully completed, these upgrades will improve on-time performance for high-speed train operations by providing route flexibility and allowing unimpeded travel.
Penn Station serves as the primary transport hub in Baltimore, and prior to the pandemic, the station was annually used by more than 3 million passengers carried by Amtrak and MARC (Maryland Area Regional Commuter) trains.