• NEC Future: Four-tracking Odenton

  • Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.
Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.

Moderators: mtuandrew, therock, Robert Paniagua

  by STrRedWolf
So I pop into the NEC Future thread in the Amtrak forum, and saw the draft EIS weight the alternatives.

One of the alternatives is to four-track from New Carrolton to Halethorpe (basically, from LANDOVER interlocking to WINANS). This of course would likely mean (based on looking at overhead sat photos via Google Maps/WikiMapia):
  • LANDOVER gets that "Track 1" access, and maybe the start of "Track A" on the southeast side.
  • New Carrolton gets another island track, but it has to clear the existing island platform to the northeast. I can't see any room there for a platform next to the existing platform, and doing two outer platforms means taking away car parking (which I'm just going to discount unless they spring for a second parking garage).
  • Seabrook's SE parking would need to be moved more SE in order to make room for Track A.
  • Bowie's not too bad, the northbound platform just needs to be moved and the tunnel covered up more.
  • Odenton... well, see below.
  • BWI already has an improvement plan in the four-track plans between GROVE and WINANS.
The draft EIS specifies making Odenton service all four tracks. Ooooooh boy. I think that means the following modifications:
  • Decommission and pull up all track between the old Speciality Filaments plant site to the NEC.
  • Move parking in the SE lot, expanding it and putting in a proper bus loop for East-of-Rail buses (RTA 203). Remove parking closest to the rail.
  • Move the platform all the way out two tracks wide. If you got to reconstruct the tunnel, you're gone too far.
  • Lay down Track A. Move Track 1.
  • Open up an entrance to the tunnel as ramp all the way up to the highblock platform. No stairs, no elevator.
In other words, they better be paying for it!
  by Sand Box John
When the Pennsylvania Railroad electrified the NEC between Landover and Edmondson Road in Baltimore they did it to accommodate a forth track. The forth track would be on the east side as the catenary polls have a space between them and track 1 to accommodate a forth track. Track A between Halethorpe and Edmondson Road was built in that unused part of the easement. The platforms at BWI, Odenton and Bowie are in the forth track part of the easement. Sometime in the last 30 years Amtrak moved the track to the east placing the unused part of the easement on the west side between Annapolis Road and south of Laurel Bowie Road placing the Seabrook platform in the part of the easement where track 3 use to be. At New Carrollton the track centers between track 2 and track 1 are wider to accommodate the gauntlet that use to be at the platform for freight trains. There is enough space between track 2 and the WMATA easement for a second island platform and forth track.
  by The EGE
Any modifications at Seabrook, Bowie State, and Odenton are going to look a lot like Halethorpe. Full-length high-level platforms and an overhead bridge. Those old tunnels have perpetual drainage / water damage issues, the lifts in them don't meet modern accessibility regulations for new construction, and they always feel like a great place to get mugged. They're a PRR legacy I won't be sad to see go.