CSX Transportation moved closer to providing double-stack service to the Port of Baltimore this week, after railroad, state and city officials chose a site for the more than $90 million intermodal facility.
The facility at the Mount Clare train yard will allow the railroad to stack containers on trains from the port’s Seagirt terminal and maximize the carrier’s National Gateway initiative, the $900 million-plus project aimed at improving connections between the Midwest and Atlantic ports. To coincide with the opening of the Panama Canal expansion project, CSX plans to open the facility in 2015.
The intermodal facility, which will use zero-emissions electric crane technology, is expected to cost between $90 and $95 million, with CSX and the Maryland Department of Transportation splitting the bill. CSX plans to spend an additional $42 million on infrastructure to boost Port of Baltimore growth.
“A new rail intermodal facility will help Baltimore keep and grow jobs in the city while securing our port’s future economic growth for the next generation,” said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. "This represents a significant economic investment in Baltimore and we look forward to working with State of Maryland and CSX to review the proposal to utilize an existing rail yard and fully consider all related issues."
CSX will run single-track trains from Seagirt through the Howard Street Tunnel — a more than 100-year-old structure that is too low to allow double-stacking — to the new facility. The railroad was considering three other sites to enhance service to the port, which saw container traffic jump 15 percent year-over-year in July.