Amtrak has cut the ribbon on a newly constructed boarding platform at Baltimore Penn Station. The new platform is scheduled to begin serving trains this spring. The project is part of Amtrak’s overall redevelopment of Baltimore Penn Station, a $150 million investment to improve customer experience and grow passenger rail.
“As we work to redevelop Baltimore Penn Station and enhance the customer experience, this new platform will help ease rail congestion and reduce delays on the Northeast Corridor,” said Amtrak President Roger Harris. “Amtrak ridership continues to grow and this new platform will help us build future capacity while also improving operational flexibility.”
Baltimore Penn Station is the eighth busiest station on the Amtrak network, with more than three million Amtrak and MARC passengers moving through the facility each year. During the past year, Amtrak ridership increased 29 percent in Baltimore, Md., surpassing the 24 percent growth in Amtrak ridership nationwide.
The new boarding platform will provide more than 1,000 linear feet of space, including pedestrian pathways and new elevators for ADA accessibility. The project also includes a renovated headhouse, roofing and historical restoration of the columns and canopies for each of the platforms.
The new high-level platform will offer Amtrak more operational flexibility. When other platforms that high-speed trains typically use are already occupied, the new platform will be available for passengers to board or disembark.
The new platform is one of two being built at Baltimore Penn Station. The second platform is scheduled for completion in fall 2024. These two new high-level platforms will support Amtrak’s expansion of high-speed train service with new Acela trains scheduled to debut later in 2024.
“Renovations and upgrades at Baltimore Penn Station, including the new boarding platform just finished, will modernize a historic hub for Baltimore residents and along the Northeast Corridor, helping to accommodate future ridership growth at one of Amtrak’s busiest stations,” said Federal Railroad Administration Deputy Administrator Jennifer Mitchell. “The Federal Railroad Administration is proud to support work at Baltimore Penn Station and beyond as we invest billions from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to advance projects of national significance in Maryland, like replacing the B&P Tunnel, Bush River Bridge, Gunpowder River Bridge and Susquehanna River Rail Bridge.”
“Penn Station is a gateway to Charm City through which millions of visitors, commuters and residents arrive, depart or pass through every single year,” said Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “This new platform, and eventually the broader Penn Station renovation, will breathe new life into the storied train station and provide much-needed upgrades for the convenience, safety and enjoyment of everyone passing through the station. These upgrades are indicative of all of the exciting development and investment flowing into our city and I am thrilled to have these changes be part of the Baltimore renaissance we’re seeing.”