Frederick Douglass Tunnel Program

The Frederick Douglass Tunnel is the centerpiece of this Program, featuring two new tunnel tubes serving primarily MARC and Amtrak passengers. The new tunnel is named in honor of Frederick Douglass, a Maryland native and an early leader in the fight for the rights of women and minorities. He was also a frequent railroad passenger after escaping to his freedom by boarding a train in Baltimore.

The Existing Tunnel

The B&P Tunnel, located in Baltimore, dates from the Civil War era. At nearly 150 years old, it is the oldest tunnel along this section of the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and is a bottleneck for operations of MARC and Amtrak passenger trains. The 1.4-mile tunnel, connecting Amtrak’s Penn Station to MARC’s West Baltimore station, is impacted by a variety of age-related issues including excessive water infiltration, a deteriorating structure, and a sinking floor. The tunnel does not include any of the modern fire and life safety systems that help keep passengers safe in the event of emergencies, and extensive maintenance is required. These factors are evidence that now is the time to provide the 9 million MARC and Amtrak customers in this area with a modern tunnel that delivers a faster, more reliable trip.

The New Tunnel Alignment

This Program will modernize and transform a ten-mile section of the NEC. The work will include the construction of:

  •  Two new high-capacity tunnel tubes that will primarily serve electrified passenger trains
  • New roadway and railroad bridges
  • New rail systems, track and railroad infrastructure
  • A new ADA-accessible West Baltimore MARC station

Get Involved


Visit our community outreach page to learn about upcoming public meetings, our engagement in your community and how to stay up to date on the Program.



Key Program Benefits




Community Investment Program (CIP)

Amtrak is committed to investing $50M in the West Baltimore community.

The Frederick Douglass Tunnel Program’s CIP is the first initiative of its kind for Amtrak.

Amtrak has committed to an overall CIP budget of $50 million which will be invested over the duration of the Program. Investments will be made through community grants and direct investments, with projects covering six categories:

  • Community Development
  • Workforce Development
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Community Gardens, Vacant Lots and Public Space
  • Transportation
  • Historic Preservation 

Read the Community Investment Program Guide (April 2024)

To learn about additional program details, our engagement in the community, and how to stay up to date on the community grant application process visit our Community Investment Program page


Additional Resources

The Federal Railroad Administration has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the B&P Tunnel Project. In making its decision, FRA considered the information and analysis included in the Draft and Final Environmental Impact Statements (DEIS & FEIS) for the project and public and agency comments.

FRA has prepared this ROD in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. § 4321 et seq.), the Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) NEPA Regulations (40 C.F.R. Parts 1500-1508), the FRA Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts (64 Federal Register 28545 [May 26, 1999]), and FRA’s Update to NEPA Implementing Procedures (78 Federal Register Part 2713 [January 14, 2013]).

Check back for articles, news releases and images covering the project's updates.

Pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the Federal Railroad Administration, the Maryland State Historic Preservation Officer, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), and Preservation Maryland executed a Programmatic Agreement (PA) establishing stipulations to take into account the effect of the tunnel replacement on historic properties.