We are starting to get a clearer picture of where the high-speed MagLev train will go, if it ever gets built along the Baltimore-Washington corridor.
The Federal Railroad Administration has narrowed down the possible routes of the high-speed train that would allow for a 15-minute trip between Washington and Baltimore. The agency, in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Transportation, has kept two of its original seven proposed designs.
The agencies abandoned designs that would have put the train through communities in Anne Arundel and Prince George’s County, including Odenton and Bowie. Those plans met strong opposition to residents due to the possibility that it would require relocation of homes and businesses.
“These impacts would result in losses to a large number of well-established neighborhoods, community and transportation facilities, and historic properties and districts, which are not easily mitigated and are inconsistent with State requirements to minimally impact those who live and work along proposed alignments,” the FRA said.
The two remaining alignments on the table are:
“Alignment J” or “Baltimore-Washington Parkway Modified East” - This would involve the construction of a long tunnel under Washington until after the Capital Beltway. The modified alignment then generally follows the Baltimore-Washington Parkway on the east side through the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, the Patuxent Research Refuge, and Fort George G. Meade before returning to tunnel towards BWI Marshall Airport station, then continuing in a tunnel to Baltimore.
“Alignment J1” or “Baltimore-Washington Parkway Modified West” - Similar to the above, but the route would avoid go along the west side of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, avoiding the Patuxent Research Refuge, and tunneling under Fort Meade.
Both routes would use either the NoMa/Gallaudet or Mount Vernon Square areas as stations.
Once a route is selected, the FRA, and MDOT will work to develop a full environmental impact statement.
It’s worth noting that the FRA and MDOT said a “no-build” option remains on the table. The project is being pushed by Northeast Maglev, which is trying to bring high-speed rail to the entire Northeast Corridor, and Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail, which would actually develop the $10 billion project.