Governor Moore Announces $20.4 Million in Grant Funding from the Biden Administration to Support MARC Train and Cleaner Operations at the Port of Baltimore

Published: 10/3/2023

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Governor Wes Moore today announced that the Maryland Department of Transportation has received two Biden Administration grants totaling $20.4 million to advance transit rail connections in the Baltimore region and promote cleaner operations at the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore. Both grants were awarded through the Federal Railroad Administration’s Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements program.

“This critical funding will help us improve MARC reliability and deliver cleaner air for communities near the Port of Baltimore,” said Gov. Moore. “We are grateful for the unwavering support and partnership from the Biden Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation and our Congressional delegation in helping us deliver a transportation system that serves all Marylanders and will help expand our economy in a cleaner, more equitable way.”

The first grant, totaling $8.8 million, is for the Maryland Transit Administration to advance planning and engineering for the Penn Camden Connector, a project to link the two MARC train lines serving Baltimore. The project will relieve capacity constraints, reduce emissions, complement Penn Station redevelopment, and provide direct access from the Penn Line to MARC’s Riverside Maintenance Facility. Long term, the connector will allow the agency to explore potential future Penn Line service connections from Washington, D.C., and points south into downtown Baltimore.

Maryland Transit Administration will match the federal grant with $2.2 million for a total commitment of $11 million to fund preliminary engineering and the environmental work required for the federal National Environmental Policy Act review process. The grant funding will advance the project to 30% design, which is expected to take about two years.

“These projects show Maryland will be innovative, competitive and environmentally responsible as we create new opportunities for people, communities and business,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld. “We’re leading the way in delivering a world-class transportation system that serves every Marylander and every community, and we’re doing it in collaboration with our state, local, federal and private sector partners.”

The second grant of $11.6 million is for the CSX Curtis Bay facilities at the Port of Baltimore to replace three older, higher emission locomotives at CSX’s privately-owned rail terminal with new battery electric locomotives and a battery charging station. The units, which will be the first zero-exhaust emissions locomotives at an East Coast port, will help reduce emissions and noise for the Port and surrounding communities. 

The new units are expected to annually reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1,530 metric tons, nitrogen oxides by 71 metric tons and particulate matter by 3.43 metric tons compared to the older locomotives. Locomotive noise will be reduced by 70%. CSX will own and operate the battery electric locomotives, and the company will provide a 50% match toward the overall project cost of $23.2 million.

“CSX is pleased the U.S. Department of Transportation has approved the application by Maryland Department of Transportation to contribute federal funding to advance sustainability efforts at the Port of Baltimore under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements program,” said CSX Resident Vice President Brian Hammock. “We look forward to working together with our partners, including federal, state and local agencies, to advance this vital infrastructure improvement project, fostering sustainable transportation solutions and enhanced connectivity for all.”

The MARC and Port of Baltimore projects are among more than 70 rail improvement projects in 35 states and Washington, D.C., receiving grants through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The allocation of more than $1.4 billion is the largest ever awarded for rail safety and rail supply chain upgrades through the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements program.