BWI Rail Station
Station viewed from the adjacent parking garage in 2019
|Location||7 Amtrak Way, Linthicum, Maryland|
|Owned by||Building: Maryland Transit Administration|
Rail infrastructure: Amtrak
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Connections||✈ BWI Terminal via Free Shuttle|
Baltimore Light Rail via Shuttle
MTA Bus 17, MTA Bus 201
BWI Business Partnership County Connector
|Parking||3,200 spaces; Paid garage|
|Station code||BWI (Amtrak)|
|Opened||October 26, 1980|
|Passengers (2018)||756,533 annually 4.37% (Amtrak)|
BWI Airport Station is an intermodal passenger station in Linthicum, Maryland near Baltimore–Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI). It is served by Amtrak Northeast Corridor intercity trains, MARC Penn Line regional rail trains, and several local bus lines.
Located just over a mile from the airport's terminal, the station was the first intercity rail station in the U.S. built to service an airport. A free shuttle bus runs between the station and the airport terminal at all hours.
Although Penn Station is the Baltimore area's main intercity station, BWI Airport is a major station in its own right. It is Amtrak's sixth-busiest station in the Mid-Atlantic region (behind New York Penn, Washington, Philadelphia, Baltimore Penn and Albany-Rensselaer) and the 12th busiest nationwide. It provides an additional option for Amtrak riders traveling to either Baltimore or Washington.
First proposed in 1964 by Charles Adler, a Baltimore-based inventor of traffic and aircraft safety devices, the station was dedicated on October 23, 1980 – coincidentally, mere hours after Adler's death – and opened for Amtrak intercity and Conrail (now MARC) commuter trains three days later.
The station's building houses a ticketing desk, waiting room, and a concessions area. The adjacent parking garage is used by commuters who ride the train to work in Baltimore or Washington, and also contains the bus stop for shuttles to the BWI terminal. The garage was built in the late 1990s to replace a smaller surface lot. It contains 3,200 parking spaces and typically does not fill to capacity. The Carolinian served the station between 1991 and 2004.
The 1,050 feet (320 m) high-level platforms were rebuilt and lengthened between 2006 and 2010. The existing structures were replaced with new precast concrete segments, and new signs, lights, shelters, railing, canopies, and benches were installed.
In 2010, $9.4 million was allocated for design and engineering of a new station building and fourth track, which was then expected to cost $80–100 million. MDOT requested $300 million in federal funds for the project in 2011, but the request was denied. The Federal Railroad Administration issued a Finding Of No Significant Impact—a major step in the environmental review process—in February 2016, clearing the way for final design and construction to begin after funding was obtained. The project was then expected to cost $600 million and include 9.4 miles (15.1 km) of fourth track.
On August 27, 2018, the MTA began a $4.7 million replacement of the station building with a larger structure. A temporary station building was used during construction The new station opened in October 2019, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held in December. The renovation did not modify the Amtrak-owned footbridge, which has water leakage and cleanliness issues, nor add WiFi service in the MTA-owned waiting area. In response, the MTA said that it does not offer WiFi at any of its stations, but is working with Amtrak to ensure that the footbridge gets needed repairs.
Station layout and services
BWI Rail Station is located on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, a 457-mile-long (735 km) rail line connecting Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. Amtrak's Northeast Regional, Acela Express, Vermonter, and Palmetto, as well as the MARC Penn Line commuter rail service, stop at the station. Amtrak long distance trains, as well as some Northeast Regional and Acela Express trains, bypass the station.
The station appears in Amtrak timetables as BWI Marshall Airport. Unlike most major stations along the Northeast Corridor, it is not possible to check bags to and from BWI; it is by far the busiest Amtrak station without checked baggage service.
|Side platform, doors will open on the right|
|Track 3||← Penn Line toward Washington, D.C. (Odenton) |
← Acela Express toward Washington (Terminus)
← Northeast Regional toward Northern Virginia (New Carrollton)
← Vermonter weekends toward Washington (New Carrollton)
← Palmetto toward Savannah (New Carrollton)
|Track 2||← Amtrak services do not stop here →|
← some Penn Line express services do not stop here →
|Track 1||Palmetto toward New York (Baltimore) → |
Vermonter toward St. Albans (Baltimore) →
Northeast Regional toward Boston South (Baltimore) →
Acela Express toward Boston South (Baltimore) →
Penn Line toward Baltimore, Martin State Airport or Perryville (Halethorpe) →
|Side platform, doors will open on the right|
Public transit services
- Airport shuttle bus: The station is indirectly connected to MTA's Baltimore Light Rail, for which there is a stop (BWI Marshall Airport) station at the airport terminal.
- MTA bus route 17: Connects the station to Arundel Mills (to the south) and the Patapsco Baltimore Light Rail station (to the north), with stops at the airport terminal and the BWI Business District station.
- MTA commuter bus route 201: Offers service between Gaithersburg and BWI Airport.
- Regional Transportation Agency of Central Maryland Route 501/Silver: Service to BWI Airport, Arundel Mills, Howard County and The Mall in Columbia.
- UMBC Transit
- BayRunner Shuttle, a private shuttle connecting east to the Eastern Shore area of Maryland and connecting shuttle to Cumberland.
Pedestrian and bicycle access
- BWI Trail: A hiker/biker trail completely encircles the airport grounds parallel to the Airport Loop, and runs adjacent to the station.
- An elevated walkway connects the station (at the second floor of the southbound platform's stairwell) with office buildings on Corporate Center Drive, including the Maryland Department of Transportation headquarters.
- "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2018, State of Maryland" (PDF). Amtrak Government Affairs. June 2019. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
- "BWI Rail Station dedication booklet, 1980". Amtrak. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
- "Ground Transportation: Amtrak". Maryland Aviation Administration. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
- Rasmussen, Charles (September 11, 1999). "In Traffic, He Saw the Light". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- Shifrin, Carole (October 24, 1980). "BWI Airport Rail Link Celebrates Opening". Washington Post. p. D3. ProQuest 147198286.
- "Availability of MARC Parking". Archived from the original on July 12, 2008. Retrieved July 13, 2008.
- "Maryland Transit Administration renovates BWI station platforms". Progressive Railroading. Trade Press Media Group, Inc. November 24, 2010. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
- "MARC Council January 2010 Meeting Minutes" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 23, 2010.
- "Governor O'Malley Applauds President Obama for High Speed Rail Investment in Maryland" (Press release). State of Maryland. January 28, 2010. Archived from the original on February 3, 2010.
- "Maryland has plans for bigger BWI rail station". Railway Track and Structures. New York: Simmons-Boardman Publishing. September 9, 2009. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011.
- Woodards, Shanteé (February 5, 2016). "BWI Rail Station expansion moves forward". Capital Gazette.
- "FRA Gives Green Light to Rebuild BWI Rail Station, Increase Service and Reliability" (Press release). Federal Railroad Administration. February 4, 2016. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
- "MDOT MTA Begins $4.7 Million Renovation of BWI Airport Rail Station on August 27" (Press release). Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration. August 22, 2018.
- Sanders, Craig (October 13, 2019). "BWI Station Reopens With New Facilities". Amtrak in the Heartland.
- Campbell, Colin (December 10, 2019). "$4.7 million renovation of BWI Rail Station adds passenger amenities but doesn't fix leaky walkway roof". Baltimore Sun.
- "Bus Routes". Maryland Transit Administration. Archived from the original on January 18, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2009.
- "The BWI Trail". Bike Washington. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
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