Amtrak Awards Construction Contract for Frederick Douglass Tunnel

Amtrak has awarded a contract to Kiewit/J.F. Shea Joint Venture to build the new Frederick Douglass Tunnel in Baltimore.

The new passenger rail tunnel will serve electrified Amtrak and MARC commuter trains with two parallel, single-track tunnel tubes, each approximately two miles long.

This new infrastructure will support significantly faster travel speeds than the existing B&P Tunnel, where trains are currently limited to a maximum of 30 miles per hour.

Frederick Douglass Tunnel with electrified trainsThe future Frederick Douglass Tunnel with electrified trains

Amtrak Executive Vice President, Capital Delivery Laura Mason said:

“We are one step closer to unlocking the biggest passenger rail bottleneck on the Northeast Corridor between Washington, D.C. and New Jersey. This would not be possible without historic funding through the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, as well as continued support from the Biden-Harris Administration, FRA and our funding partners at Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA).”

This investment is at the centre of Amtrak’s Frederick Douglass Tunnel Program, which will modernise approximately 10 miles of the Northeast Corridor (NEC).

The programme is already underway, with construction set to begin on the new tunnel in 2026.

The overall programme is expected to be completed in 2035 and will be delivered through three major construction contracts. These include:

Maryland Governor Wes Moore said:

“The new Frederick Douglass Tunnel will generate fresh opportunities for Marylanders and help secure our transportation future. This project marks an important step forward in our work to build strong pathways to work, wages, and wealth for all — while investing in critical infrastructure throughout the state. I’m grateful for the partnership of the Biden-Harris Administration and all of the stakeholders who have come together to make this vision a reality.”


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