Friday, April 06, 2007

D.C. Area Freight Railroad Future?

Yesterday the Washington Post reported, in an article "Study Proposes Rerouting Hazmat Trains to Maryland" on a new proposal for re-routing rail freight - including HAZMAT - away from downtown Washington, D.C.

Two would re-route entirely around Washington, D.C., while the 3rd option would re-route through a new tunnel from Potomac Yards in Virginia, through Washington, D.C. along the south (eastern) bank of the Anacostia River next to I-295/DC 295 Kenilworth Avenue SE.

Maryland officials are displeased with the two options to go around Washington, D.C.

D.C. Mayor Fenty is currently undecided.

This idea scraps the earlier idea of running such freight into a new north-south railroad tunnel near 1st Street SE connecting to the railroads behind (north of) Union Station.

This may be an answer to criticisms, including mine (see comments following Rodney Slater), against the future juxtaposition of said tunnel all too close to the poorly placed Nationals Stadium (which appeared in planning after this north south tunnel was proposed in the 1997 "Extending the Legacy: Planning America's Capital for the 21st Century").

USNCPC Press Release, April 5, 2007

According to Joseph Passonneau, whose work on the SW/SE Freeway I detailed here:

Third, the proposal to relocate the railroad south of the Anacostia River would not be tolerated by that neighborhood, and WMATA plans to use the present, abandoned railroad right-of-way for public transit. But the railroad could be carried, continuously with the passenger railroad, to reach the marshalling yards north of New York Avenue. As part of the freeway building mania after the Second World War, an underpass was created on South Capitol Street, at South M Street. NCPC has also recommended that this underpass be eliminated and that South Capitol Street be recreated as a tree-lined boulevard.

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