Amtrak Publishes Guide for Community Investments Funded by the Frederick Douglass Tunnel Program

Amtrak has published a new guide detailing the process for plans to invest $50 million in the West Baltimore community throughout construction of the Frederick Douglass Tunnel Program (FDT Program). This important community investment was identified as a key component of the overall FDT Program by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) during its approval of the program, which will build a brand-new rail alignment and modern tunnel to replace the existing 151-year-old B&P Tunnel.

“Amtrak is committed to improving the Baltimore community through the Frederick Douglass Tunnel Program and these future investments will play an important role in achieving that goal,” said Roger Harris, Amtrak president. “We are working diligently to administer the Baltimore Community Investment Program effectively and efficiently over the coming months and years.”

The head of the Federal Railroad Administration, Amit Bose, said: “The Federal Railroad Administration is proud to support the construction of the new Frederick Douglass Tunnel in Baltimore and support other transformative rail projects along the Northeast Corridor through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Amtrak has developed an innovative community investment approach, which includes targeted investments that will address unique project impacts determined through a comprehensive federal environmental review process. We are pleased that this new guide sets the stage for future investments in the local community consistent with the Record of Decision.”

Amtrak will award grants to qualified not-for-profit organizations or city/state government entities, as well as make direct investments in the community. These grants and direct investments will support projects located within a quarter of a mile of the program alignment, across six investment categories including community development, workforce development, publicly owned parks and recreation facilities, community gardens, vacant lot greening or creation of public open space, transportation and historic preservation.

The FDT Program will deliver enduring transportation improvements for the Northeast Corridor (NEC), create economic opportunity, improve connectivity and upgrade local infrastructure in West Baltimore.

This includes a state-of-the-art tunnel for electrified Amtrak and MARC passenger trains, a new ADA-accessible West Baltimore MARC station, the replacement of multiple city bridges that require repair or replacement, and remilling, regrading, or repaving several streets in the program alignment area.