With the head of CSX Transportation at his side, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan pledged Monday to reapply for federal funding to retool a tunnel so that the railroad can double-stack containers on lines connecting to the Port of Baltimore.
The port, which is at present reachable only by single-stacked trains, has for more than four years sought a way to accommodate double-stacked trains. In an earlier plan that was later dropped, the port administration planned to create an intermodal terminal at the other end of the tunnel, so that single-stacked trains could carry imported containers there from the port and then load them onto double stacked trains.
Supporters say the tunnel upgrade would be the final enhancement to a port that is otherwise primed to compete — it already has on-dock rail capability and can accept New Panamax ships, with a 50-foot deep channel and 50-foot berth. The ability to take double-stacked trains would give shippers better access to the Midwest and make it more competitive with the port of New York and New Jersey and Virginia, supporters say.