Baltimore Penn Station redevelopment project breaks ground

Oct. 25, 2021
The project represents a $150-million investment by Amtrak to expand and improve passenger rail service along the Northeast Corridor.

Amtrak and Penn Station Partners were joined by federal, state and local officials on Oct. 22 at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Baltimore Penn Station Redevelopment Project.

Baltimore Penn Station was built 110 years ago and was last renovated in 1984. The $150-million investment Amtrak will make in the transportation hub will expand and modernize the historic landmark to better accommodate passenger growth, significantly improve the customer experience and to create a revitalized civic space.

“Today, we begin a new chapter for Baltimore Penn Station. In partnership with Penn Station Partners, we are set to transform Penn Station into a premier regional transportation hub,” said Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn. “This 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.”

Planning and development began in 2018 after the Baltimore-based developer, Penn Station Partners, led by Beatty Development Group and Cross Street Partners, was announced as the selected Baltimore Penn Station Master Developer.

“The redevelopment and revitalization of Baltimore’s Penn Station and the surrounding district is critical to the economic health of the city,” said CEO of Cross Street Partners Bill Struever. “We are fully committed to realizing the potential of this station as a true anchor for the growth of the local community and the city of Baltimore, and we are immensely grateful for the support of Amtrak as we continue laying the groundwork for this important project.”

In addition to station improvements delivered by Penn Station Partners, Amtrak is also breaking ground on platform improvements at the station to better accommodate Amtrak’s new Acela high-speed rail trains that are set to launch next year, as well as increasing track capacity, improving ride quality and offering greater reliability both locally and along the entire Northeast Corridor.

To allow for greater operability of train service, Amtrak is rebuilding 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 30-mile 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.

“We applaud Amtrak and Penn Station Partners on commencing this transformational station rehabilitation,” said Federal Railroad Administration Deputy Administrator Amit Bose. “This project is the embodiment of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. Baltimore residents, businesses, as well as those traveling on MARC and Amtrak will all benefit from a modern and fully accessible facility.”

Construction work is now underway for platform improvements, with the building façade renovations starting later this year. Construction will continue in phases to complete the station renovation and expansion over the next few years.

“When I think about how hard we have worked over the last seven years to encourage economic development and to make Maryland open for business, this is exactly the kind of project that symbolizes how far we have come,” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. “It harnesses the strength of the public and private sectors, it builds on the partnership at the federal, state and local levels, and the job creation potential and associated economic and transit benefits are an absolute game-changer for Baltimore City and the region.”

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