US$6 billion contract awarded to upgrade Northeast Rail Corridor in Baltimore

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Amtrak has selected a team led by US engineers Aecom and Jacobs to upgrade the Northeast Rail Corridor in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

The Frederick Douglass Tunnel program, covering a 16 km stretch of the Northeast Corridor, America’s busiest passenger rail line estimated at a construction value of US$6 billion by Amtrak, encompasses the development of two new high-capacity tunnel tubes for electrified passenger trains operating at speeds of up to 160km/h. Alongside these tunnels, the program involves the construction of new roadways, railroad bridges, and upgraded rail systems. Additionally, enhanced accessibility will be provided through a new ADA-accessible West Baltimore MARC station, contributing to the transformation of a ten-mile section of the Northeast Corridor and substantial enhancements to local infrastructure. This initiative replaces a 150-year-old tunnel and aims to enhance services for the 12 million annual passengers traveling between Boston and Washington. Previously known as the Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel, the tunnel was renamed in 2023 to honor Maryland-born civil rights leader Frederick Douglass.

The team's responsibilities encompass program management, design oversight, construction oversight, commissioning oversight, program controls, and commercial and capacity building. Comprising Aldea, Dr Sauer, RailPros, Sener, Turner & Townsend, and 22 small businesses, the team commenced early construction in 2023, with major construction slated to begin in 2024.

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