However, what about building the line just to Penn Station? From Camden Yards to Penn Station would be roughly 2 miles of new tunnel, but would provide rail access to an extremely traffic heavy portion of the city. The 2002 Plan proposed a new station at the Inner Harbor (approx. Conway and Light), a transfer at Charles Center to connect directly to the Metro, a new station in Mount Vernon (approximately at Madison Street), and a transfer at Penn Station to connect to Amtrak and MARC.
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This new separate Yellow Line would run trains between Penn Station and BWI (or alternating to Glen Burnie), sharing stations between Linthicum and Camden Yards with the Blue Line. The Blue Line would continue to run trains between Hunt Valley and Glen Burnie, and potentially alternating to still serve BWI. The short Penn-Camden shuttle would be eliminated.
There are many advantages here that would drastically improve the interconnectivity of our transit system.
- A direct underground transfer connection at Charles Center for the Baltimore Metro, and ideally the Red Line.
- A new connection at Penn Station which would get riders to/from Penn Station faster and more frequently than the current light rail station.
- Serve more of the dense downtown neighborhoods which are currently the fastest growing in the city. including a station in the Inner Harbor. This would allow for
- Remove some traffic from Howard Street to allow for better headway frequencies along that ROW for Timonium/Hunt Valley trains.
- Potential for expansion north of Penn Station in the future, or a connection for southbound trains from Timonium/Hunt Valley to also access Penn Station.
- This would be quite expensive. For two miles of track and new stations the cost would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, if not more.
- Lack of funding. There are already questions about this with regards to the Red Line, so who knows what would be available 10+ years from now for a project like this.
- Station placement: There is not a lot of open space for station entrances along the alignment. Sidewalk bumpouts with enough room for an elevator on one corner and a stairwell on another would probably be sufficient.