Posts Tagged ‘Virginia Avenue tunnel’

CSX Expects to Begin Using Englarged Virginia Avenue Tunnel in Washington by Late This Year

July 23, 2016

Trains magazine is reporting that the Virginia Avenue Tunnel being enlarged by CSX will be ready to handle double-stacked container trains later this year.

CSX logo 1Completion of one phase of that project will mark a major milestone in the development of the railroad’s National Gateway program.

Work on enlarging the tunnel began in May 2015. The tunnel enlargement drew some opposition in Washington and CSX said it has made more than 51,000 contacts with people living over the tunnel to explain the project.

That included public meetings, social media interactions and email newletters. CSX also established an office near the tunnel’s west portal.

The project involves creating a new tunnel and then replacing the existing tunnel, which was constructed by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1872.

Trains reported that CSX is using a cut-and-cover approach to building the tunnels, which involves digging a new trench adjacent to the existing bore and then placing a concrete cover over it.

Disruptions to the neighborhood are being minimized by drilling pilings to support the walls of both new tunnels.

CSX has set up a website to provide information and updates on the project at

Completion of the tunnel will mean that double-stacked container trains can travel between the Northwest Ohio Intermodal facility in North Baltimore to the Southeast.

Presumably, that traffic will move over the New Castle Subdivision via Akron.

CSX is also constructing a new intermodal terminal near Pittsburgh that also is expected to send traffic over the New Castle Sub.

Judge Gives CSX OK to Build Washington Tunnel

April 20, 2015

A federal judge last week dismissed a bid to halt CSX from building a new tunnel in Washington, D.C., that would be a key link in the railroad’s National Gateway network.

Judge Christopher R. Cooper ruled that removing and replacing the existing 111-year-old tunnel beneath Virginia Avenue SE in Southeast Washington is in the best interest of the public.

Cooper’s ruling came in response to a request for a preliminary injunction that was sought by the Committee of 100 on the Federal City.

“The Committee’s contentions that a new tunnel will lead to more accidents and a greater risk of terrorist attack are speculative at best. And with the exception of the removal of some 200 trees, the Committee has not established that any environmental effects of the construction activity will be severe or irreparable,” Cooper ruled.

The Committee of 100 sought to stop the project until a court can rule on a pending lawsuit that it filed that challenges the Federal Highway Administration’s decision to OK the tunnel reconstruction plans. That lawsuit challenged the legality and transparency of the project’s federal environmental review process.­

CSX in February began site preparation work on the $170 million project to rebuild the 3,800-foot tunnel after it received federal clearance to proceed with the reconstruction and expansion project.

The tunnel extends beneath Virginia Avenue SE from Second to 11th streets. CSX plans to build twin tunnels that will accommodate double stack container trains.

Opponents of the project have raised concerns about the transportation of hazardous materials through the tunnel and also fear that the construction will create noise, dust and vibration that will disrupt the peace of neighborhood.