The Two Routes For Getting From DC to Baltimore in 15 Minutes

by Nena Perry-Brown

The Two Routes For Getting From DC to Baltimore in 15 Minutes: Figure 1

Last fall, UrbanTurf reported on the progress that had been made on selecting a route for a superconducting magnetic levitation (maglev) system that would ferry passengers from DC to Baltimore within 15 minutes. Now, the Federal Railroad Administration and Maryland Department of Transportation have narrowed route options down further.

As the maglev team works to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement, a report was released last month that identifies two potential routes worth studying for the high-speed rail system. The option to build nothing will also be retained and studied alongside the two routes.

The Two Routes For Getting From DC to Baltimore in 15 Minutes: Figure 2
The two route options. Click to enlarge.

The first route, "BWP Modified East", has elevated tracks that generally follow along the east side of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway through the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC), the Patuxent Research Refuge (PRR) and Fort Meade. The train would tunnel under DC until after the Beltway and from Fort Meade to BWI Airport and then to its terminus in Baltimore.

The second route, "BWP Modified West", has elevated tracks along the west side of B-W Parkway, going through BARC and avoiding PRR. The train on this route would also tunnel under DC until after the Beltway, and would tunnel under Fort Meade before turning east toward BWI Airport and its Baltimore City terminus.

Both routes would involve going under Anacostia Park; both also avoid the National Arboretum and are considered to have the least impact on residential areas.

The Two Routes For Getting From DC to Baltimore in 15 Minutes: Figure 3
Potential zones for maglev stations in DC
The Two Routes For Getting From DC to Baltimore in 15 Minutes: Figure 4
Potential zones for maglev stations in Baltimore

The maglev system would have three underground stations -- in Baltimore City, at BWI Airport, and in the District -- with entrances either on the street or within buildings. 

The station in Baltimore would either be in the Westport-Cherry Hill area, around Inner Harbor or in Port Covington. In DC, the station would either be around NoMa-Gallaudet or Mount Vernon Square. At all three stop locations, a zone with a one-mile radius has been identified for study.

Going forward, the team will analyze both routes to determine alignments, the "Limits of Disturbance", and the potential locations of stations and support facilities. Both routes will also be compared to the costs and benefits of a "no-build" option.

See other articles related to: mdot, maglev, high-speed trains, baltimore

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc-to-baltimore-maglev-train-narrowed-to-two-potential-routes/13535

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