Photo: Gary Pancavage, Amtrak.
Overview: Unlike the typical four-track configuration of the NEC between Delaware and Connecticut, Washington to Baltimore consists of only two or three main line tracks. This arrangement often forces express trains into a queue behind locals, slowing service and creating some of the worst recurrent delays on the Corridor. To address this issue, Amtrak and the state of Maryland intend to design and construct a predominantly four-track configuration between Washington and Baltimore.
Proposed investments would construct a fourth track and upgrade the existing third track along a 16-mile segment from a new Hanson Interlocking at Landover, MD to Grove Interlocking, north of Odenton. Improvements may include additional track and commuter platforms at New Carrollton, a major MARC and Amtrak intermodal station with a connection to the Washington Metro.
This section of the NEC is currently operating at over 75% of its practical capacity with over 120 daily Amtrak and MARC trains, as well as freight traffic. Its current configuration will be unable to support future increases in service by all operators. A fourth track would expand capacity and reduce congestion by enabling express and local trains to operate simultaneously in both directions.