FIX MARYLAND RAIL: TWO PILOT PROJECTS
by Diane Wittner, September 2022
**Sept 8th video presentation, full working document, resources, maps, slides, HERE**
As a document designed for use by others, my working paper marks the culmination of five years of learning and work. I share my emergent knowledge, resources and seed ideas with sustainability and environmental justice transportation advocates for crafting macro-level transport policy in Maryland. My purpose is to demonstrate that Maryland’s train tracks can and must benefit our communities and economy in this time of intersecting emergencies and opportunities. I propose that we seize this unique moment to invite local, state and federal lawmakers to shape partnerships to rebuild Maryland’s train tracks to benefit Marylanders. Such a dramatic change can begin the fastest, largest and most impactful decarbonization, just transition, efficiency, sustainability, safety and pollution reduction plan.
TWO PILOT PROJECTS
Project 1) The state will purchase a clean energy electric train, along with buying and modernizing train tracks, crossings and intermodal infrastructure in one place, for transport of safe, non hazardous goods, and passengers. One possible urban location: the residential, rail yard and port communities of/near Curtis Bay, Baltimore into nearby counties. Local stakeholder leadership, research teams, leading local lawmakers, and professional expertise combined can determine the most suitable plan.
Baltimore City and Region Rail Map
Project, the state will finally pursue this plan. State Senator Arthur Ellis leads on this issue. I further propose that the state purchase distributed energy solar electric trains, and implement shared, efficient, non-hazardous freight and commuter travel combined on or next to the currently unused CSX tracks.
Also, build a long overdue rail bridge on the Southern Potomac River, at the Nice Bridge next to a pedestrian/bicycle bridge, taking inspiration from two such bridges planned for the Northern Potomac River from Virginia into D.C. Partner with the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority since they announced: a $20 million grant for the Long Bridge crossing the Potomac River into DC. where a pedestrian/bike bridge and a new rail bridge will be built. Local stakeholder leadership, leading local lawmakers, research teams, and professional expertise can determine the most suitable plan.
DC, Virginia, Maryland Regional Rail Map