In November 2001, Congress requested "a comprehensive study to assess problems in the freight and passenger rail infrastructure in the vicinity of Baltimore, Maryland." The study was intended to evaluate the condition and capabilities of the Baltimore railroad network's fixed facilities and "examine the benefits and costs of various alternatives for reducing congestion and improving safety and efficiency in the rail operations" in the Baltimore region. Part I of the ensuing report characterized the state of the network and demands placed on it. The study evaluated the existing B&P Tunnel, among other components of Baltimore's rail network, and underscored its importance to the overall Northeast Corridor system.
Part II studies the potential actions that could improve passenger and freight railway capabilities in the Baltimore region. Replacement of the B&P Tunnel was a stated objective of the study.
This feasibility study supplemented the findings of the 2005 report. It focused on the principal elements of Baltimore's network of passenger and freight rail lines extending from Perryville – the junction of Amtrak's NEC with the Norfolk Southern principal route from Harrisburg and points west – to Halethorpe, where CSX Transportation and Amtrak lines from Washington cross. In Phase 1 of the report, a number of passenger and freight alternative routes through Baltimore were developed and evaluated. Phase II of the report further refined the engineering and cost aspects of two preferred alternatives. Replacement of the B&P Tunnel was a stated objective of the study.
This Amtrak report presented a possible concept for high-speed rail service along the Northeast Corridor. The study identified general alignment constraints, such as dedicated tracks and curvature limits that would be required to implement next-generation high speed rail service along the NEC.
This passenger rail infrastructure plan, prepared by Amtrak, provides a regional, corridor-wide perspective of the NEC Main Line and all its feeder lines. The Master Plan identifies an initial baseline of infrastructure investment needed to maintain the current NEC system in a state of good repair; integrate intercity, commuter and freight service plans; and move the NEC forward to meet the expanded service, reliability, and trip-time improvements that are envisioned by the Northeast states and the District of Columbia. The plan identifies the B&P Tunnel as one of several major assets along the NEC that are beyond their useful life, and which impede the overall speed, capacity, and reliability of the NEC Main Line.