WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) joined Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Amtrak representatives and stakeholders, state and local 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.
“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.”
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 Acelatrains 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 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.”
Roger Harris, Amtrak President
“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.”
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.”
For more than 52 years, Amtrak has connected America and modernized train travel. Offering a safe, environmentally efficient way to reach more than 500 destinations across 46 states and parts of Canada, Amtrak provides travelers with an experience that sets a new standard. Book travel, check train status, access your eTicket and more through the Amtrak app. Learn more at Amtrak.com and connect with us on X, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
About Amtrak’s Historic Infrastructure Investments
Amtrak is leading a new era of passenger rail, investing in modern trains, enhanced stations, new tunnels and bridges, and other critical infrastructure upgrades. We’re enhancing the customer experience across the country, improving safety and reliability, driving economic development, reducing trip times, expanding capacity, advancing accessibility and promoting a more sustainable future.
Traditionally known as a passenger rail operator, today Amtrak is also a major construction company executing the largest capital program in Amtrak’s history. With over $50 billion of capital investments in planning and development, these historic investments are made possible by the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) enacted in 2021.