The process to build and launch a high speed maglev train between DC and Baltimore continues to move, well, at a high speed. The Federal Railroad Administration, Maryland Department of Transportation, Northeast Maglev and Baltimore Washington Rapid Rail have narrowed down the possible track routes to two different options. Both potential routes will run next to the Baltimore-Washington Parkway once past the Capital Beltway.
Both routes being proposed will use extended tunnels from Washington out to beyond the Beltway. The rest of the route is above ground until dropping into a tunnel from BWI into Baltimore itself. Both routes have been planned to limit the potential for residential property impact.
Here’s the real difference between Alignment J and Alignment J1, the 2 routes. Alignment J follows the BW Parkway on the east side and passes through Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Patuxent Research Refuge and Fort Meade before going underground into Baltimore. Alignment J1 runs on the west side of the Parkway and goes through the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and then east into a tunnel to BWI and then underground to the city.
No matter which route is selected, the runnel out of DC itself will go underneath Anacostia Park and will avoid impacting the National Arboretum.
Decisions still need to be made on DC’s station location for the train. NoMA-Gallaudet and Mt. Vernon Square Stations are both still the finalists.