Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh and members of Maryland’s congressional delegation met with CSX officials just before the Christmas holiday to discuss the Howard Street Tunnel expansion project. According to a report in the Baltimore Sun, the $425 million project was abruptly cancelled by CSX last fall, despite years of advance planning by federal and state officials. The project is closely linked with the future growth of Baltimore as a port and to accommodate the growing volume of shipping containers. The project, which would have raised the ceiling and lowered the floor of the tunnel, was long considered a goal of both the port of Baltimore and CSX. The railroad and the state had agreed to kick in $270 million, and seek the remaining $155 million from the federal government.
The tunnel expansion project was cancelled as part of a new operating plan implemented by CSX CEO Hunter Harrison. James Foote was named CEO following the sudden death of Harrison last week, yet remains committed to continuing his predecessor’s policies. Both sides agreed to continue talks, though CSX made no indication it would reconsider their position.
—Railfan & Railroad