Baltimore Penn Station High-Speed Rail Project
Editor’s note: Diversity-owned businesses in the Mid-Atlantic region, particularly those DBEs and SBEs certified in Maryland, are invited to bid on Baltimore Penn Station construction projects as they proceed during the coming months and years. The information below is assembled from Amtrak online sources. Like many other publicly funded endeavors, Amtrak projects require a certain level of participation by small Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) or Small Business Enterprises (SBEs). Some Amtrak contracts will soon be awarded. Prime contractors, including Skanska and others, are seeking DBE and SBE subcontractor and supplier participation. Interested DBEs or SBEs should contact the prime bidders before the bid due date. You may scroll down to see the advertisement posted below for specific bid opportunities with Skanska, which is preparing a bid package for next generation high-speed rail (NGHSR) improvements and renovations at Baltimore Penn Station.
Amtrak is building the foundation for its Northeast Corridor Vision and NextGen high-speed rail with several projects, which form the core of its near term investment strategy. These projects upgrade infrastructure to increase track capacity, improve ride quality, and offer greater reliability along the Northeast Corridor.
A new equipment order for high-speed trainsets, in partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration, is intended to expand the Acela fleet in the near term and meet the long term operational needs of NextGen high-speed rail service in the future. The trainsets are planned to be introduced into revenue service in 2021.
In preparation for the introduction of the new Acela fleet, Amtrak is taking steps to improve its infrastructure for all users and keep Acela the preferred choice for intercity travel in the Northeast. While many of the infrastructure improvements will take place on the south end of the Northeast Corridor, between Baltimore and Washington, DC, the enhancements will benefit the full length of the corridor. In general, Amtrak will be constructing a new side high-level platform at New Carrollton Station and increasing the number of high-level platforms at Baltimore Penn Station to allow for greater operational flexibility and expansion of train service. Amtrak is also working to upgrade the last of three tracks between Washington Union Station and Baltimore Penn Station to operate at speeds up to 125 miles per hour and improve ride quality for a more comfortable journey. In addition, Amtrak will be making improvements to its maintenance facilities to provide best in class servicing of train equipment.
With its classic Beaux-Arts architecture, the historic Baltimore Penn Station was built in 1911 and anchors the Charles North District in Baltimore City. As the eighth busiest station in Amtrak’s national system, Baltimore Penn Station serves Amtrak’s high-speed Acela Express, Northeast Regional, and long-distance train services. In addition, the commuter operations of MARC’s Penn Line, the city’s light rail and bus service, can all be accessed via the station. Amtrak is committed to the continuous improvement of Baltimore Penn Station as a vital transportation gateway and treasured community asset.
In Maryland, at Baltimore Penn Station, the next generation high-speed rail (HSR) infrastructure improvements include the rehabilitation of an existing platform, construction of a new platform, and renewal of the overhead electrical system. These projects will increase track capacity for expanded Acela service, provide routing flexibility, and improve the on-time performance of high-speed train operations by providing additional opportunities to allow high-speed trains to travel unimpeded.
Improve Ride Quality
In an effort to improve ride quality, Amtrak will establish an improved system for surfacing the track. In addition, Amtrak will purchase new state-of-the art equipment to aid in this effort, resulting in a more comfortable journey.
Along a thirty-mile stretch of railroad between Baltimore and Washington, DC, Amtrak will upgrade its lower speed track to high-speed standards creating a three track capacity high-speed railroad along one of the most congested and delay-prone portions of the Northeast Corridor. Amtrak will also make minor realignments to the existing tracks. A third platform track at New Carrollton Station will be added to expand track and station capacity. This work will allow Amtrak trains to operate at higher speeds.
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