Amtrak Celebrates Completion of New Baltimore Platform Construction
New Boarding Platform Five to Open This Spring at Baltimore Penn Station
BALTIMORE – January 29, 2024 – Amtrak representatives and stakeholders gathered today with state, local and federal officials for a ribbon cutting to inaugurate a newly constructed boarding platform at Baltimore Penn Station. The new platform is scheduled to begin serving trains this spring. This project is part of Amtrak’s overall redevelopment of Baltimore Penn Station, a $150 million investment to improve customer experience and grow passenger rail.
“As we work to redevelop Baltimore Penn Station and enhance the customer experience, this new platform will help ease rail congestion and reduce delays on the Northeast Corridor,” said Amtrak President Roger Harris. “Amtrak ridership continues to grow, and this new platform will help us build future capacity while also improving operational flexibility.”
Baltimore Penn Station is the eighth busiest station on the Amtrak network, with more than three million Amtrak and MARC passengers moving through the facility each year. Over the past year, Amtrak ridership increased 29% in Baltimore, surpassing the 24% growth in Amtrak ridership nationwide.
The new boarding platform will provide over 1,000 linear feet of space, including pedestrian pathways and new elevators for ADA accessibility. The project also includes a renovated headhouse, roofing and historical restoration of the columns and canopies for each of the platforms.
This new high-level platform will offer Amtrak more operational flexibility. When other platforms that high-speed trains typically use are already occupied, the new platform will be available for passengers to board or disembark.
This new platform is one of two being built at Baltimore Penn Station. The second platform is scheduled for completion in Fall 2024. These two new high-level platforms will support Amtrak’s expansion of high-speed train service with new Acela trains scheduled to debut later this year.
Jennifer Mitchell, FRA Deputy Administrator
“Renovations and upgrades at Baltimore Penn Station, including the new boarding platform just finished, will modernize a historic hub for Baltimore residents and along the Northeast Corridor, helping to accommodate future ridership growth at one of Amtrak’s busiest stations,” said FRA Deputy Administrator Jennifer Mitchell. “The Federal Railroad Administration is proud to support work at Baltimore Penn Station and beyond as we invest billions from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to advance projects of national significance in Maryland, like replacing the B&P Tunnel, Bush River Bridge, Gunpowder River Bridge, and Susquehanna River Rail Bridge.”
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)
“It’s an exciting day for the millions of riders who use Baltimore Penn Station as a connection to the greater Eastern Seaboard. The additional platform will provide better, more efficient service in one of the busiest passenger rail stations in the country,” said Senator Cardin. “Amtrak and its partners in Maryland with support from the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic investment in transportation infrastructure is laying the foundation for the future of modern rail in Maryland.”
Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
“Our rail system is essential to keeping Marylanders and our economy moving. This new platform will position Penn Station to better accommodate high-speed trains and increase overall capacity for rail service. This is big news for the three million riders – Marylanders and visitors alike – who pass through this critical transit hub each year,” said Senator Van Hollen.
Brandon M. Scott, Baltimore Mayor
“Penn Station is a gateway to Charm City through which millions of visitors, commuters, and residents arrive, depart, or pass through every single year,” said Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “This new platform, and eventually the broader Penn Station renovation, will breathe new life into the storied train station and provide much-needed upgrades for the convenience, safety, and enjoyment of everyone passing through the station. These upgrades are indicative of all of the exciting development and investment flowing into our city and I am thrilled to have these changes be part of the Baltimore renaissance we’re seeing.”
Paul J. Wiedefeld, Maryland Transportation Secretary
“Amtrak’s new platform at Baltimore Penn Station will help ease congestion along the Northeast corridor, and improve the safety of our customers and workers,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld. “MDOT is proud to work in close collaboration with our state, local and federal partners to reinvigorate Penn Station and the surrounding community.”
Holly Arnold, Maryland Transit Administrator
“Penn Station is an important hub in MTA’s transit network, providing vital, multi-modal connections,” said Maryland Transit Administrator Holly Arnold. “We appreciate Amtrak’s partnership in improving mobility and access for all.”