BALTIMORE -- Maryland's Port Administration has announced plans for a high-speed rail yard and a new cruise ship passenger terminal in the city's Inner Harbor.
"Our port needs to take a number of aggressive steps," said David Wagner, the Maryland port administrator. The new $25 million high-speed rail yard will be located on a 70-acre tract near the soon-to-be opened Seagirt Marine Terminal, which lies between the Dundalk and Sealand marine terminals. At a Tuesday news conference, Wagner said the facility would allow shippers to make ocean-to-rail transfers of containers more quickly and conveniently.
While the rail yard is certain to take shape, the idea of an Inner Harbor cruise passenger terminal "is still in the conceptual stage," said Miles Maguire, an MPA spokesman.
The cruise passenger facility would replace a little-used passenger terminal built at Dundalk Marine Terminal in the early 1970s.
The 50-point MPA plan, parts of which were not released Tuesday for competitive reasons, is designed to increase cargo by 50 percent during a five-year period.
The plan was developed by the MPA with an outside consultant and private sector advisory panel.
MPA officials said none of the aspects of the proposal require legislative approval.
One of the seven major proposals calls for the port to begin a "rail brokerage program" designed to consolidate oceangoing shipments to save shippers money.
Another program has the port beginning to "target cargo movements that can provide new work for the International Longshoremen's Association in Baltimore," Wagner said.
The plan also calls for the MPA to work with Baltimore to develop a new cruise passenger facility that would link it with the city's growing tourist busines