CSX Likely to Steer Freight Facility Away from Elkridge, Says Senator

Sen. Ed Kasemeyer said it appeared unlikely a train-truck depot would be built on Hanover at Race roads; Councilwoman Courtney Watson said she was hopeful that was the case.

Sen. Ed Kasemeyer (D-Howard/Baltimore) said Thursday night he was more than 99 percent sure that a freight depot would not be built in Elkridge. 

Speaking at the Greater Elkridge Community Association meeting, Kasemeyer told approximately 20 citizens that he had a “good source” who told him that CSX and the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) would look somewhere other than Hanover and Race roads to construct a train-truck transfer station.

He said he was "99.9 percent [certain] that it will not go here," referring to the rail project, which is called an.

Councilwoman Courtney Watson (D-Elkridge/Ellicott City) said she wasn’t as sure as Kasemeyer about the intermodal project going elsewhere, but she said she was hopeful.

“I hope he’s right. I just want to say, let’s wait and see what CSX has to say in the next few weeks but I do hope he’s right,” said Watson. “Keep your fingers crossed.”

For more than five years, CSX has had designs on property at Hanover and Race roads for its intermodal facility, according to landowners in the area.

In 2010, . In 2011, it  to evaluate four sites, including land on Hanover at Race roads, for the intermodal facility, which it needs to accommodate the influx of freight from the Panama Canal.

The intermodal facility would allow for trains to be stacked, one on top of another, and for trains to swap cargo with trucks. Residents have protested, stating they are concerned about their , and traffic generated by the hundreds of trucks that would travel to the facility each day.

The other candidate sites are on Montevideo Road, Brock Bridge Road and at Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.

Kasemeyer and Maryland State Del. James Malone (D-Baltimore/Howard) worked to include a clause in the state's FY 2013 budget stipulating that MDOT would have to evaluate other sites for the project and submit a report with its findings by October 2012 before receiving $500,000 of its budget.

The head of the Greater Elkridge Community Association said residents will continue to oppose the project.

"We don't stop until tracks are laid in Baltimore," said Howard Johnson, president of the Greater Elkridge Community Association, at the conclusion of the May 24 meeting. "Until that happens, we're still on the aggressive. We can't back down."

Karen S Parkison May 25, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Sad to say having the alsphalt/sand/gravel plant on Race road will smell worse & lower property values more. Truck traffic from theIntermodal will not be going through the neighborhoods as the tractor trailers can not fit on the roads. They would need a seperate entrance/exit which the State & CSX would make via the industrial park not the neighborhoods. Be careful what you wish for because the lovely downwind scent of ashpalt floating through your neighborhoods would be worse than the daytime only clang of train containers. By striking down the CSX site you reduce the amount of goods able to travel thru the USA & drive up prices on all you personally buy because it will cost more to transport elsewhere to off load. Sometimes the few need to look at the bigger picture & stop hurting others who do not agree with you. None of us work for CSX, it is just my viewpoint since all I hear is negative whining,
Mr. Drew May 25, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Nobody is opposed to having the CSX site. We are opposed to having it built next to a residential neighborhood, when there are other sites it could go. There will be no effect on the amount of goods traveling through the USA or the region.
Val McGuire May 25, 2012 at 01:56 PM
It is my understanding that the owner of the property will work with the nearby residents to address concerns about the asphalt plant operation. The owners are long standing residents of Howard County and they have a record of working with their neighbors.
Robyn Winder May 25, 2012 at 02:02 PM
When did reasoned debate and differences of opinion become "negative whining"? (By the way, what is "positive whining"? I guess that's when you get what you want.) The residents of Hanover/Elkridge have never opposed an intermodal facility in Maryland, as Drew stated. Our argument all along has been that it is wrong to build it directly adjacent to neighborhoods. You seem to assume no intermodal would be built unless it's built in Hanover. That is simply incorrect. There have always been other options, and now Baltimore wants the intermodal site built there. Good for the city, good for us, good for CSX, and good for you, right?
G Ambrose May 25, 2012 at 05:36 PM
I would like to point out an issue that you may not be aware of Karen, the intermodal is a 24/7 operation. All night all day trains are going to be loaded and unloaded. Furthermore railroads are exempt from noise pollution laws as well as other regulations that would be placed on any other operation on this property. All of this is to allow WALMART, TARGET and CSX to increase their profits, not to pass any savings onto the consumer. They used the same lies of cheaper goods when they shipped our jobs overseas. Notice any cheaper priced goods since our jobs went away? Yeah me neither.
Doug K May 25, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Karen -- hopefully I can give you more information than just "negative whining". 1. The intermodal would be a 24-7 facility, the only negative impact would not be "daytime-only clang of train containers." They anticipate 900 trucks a day through the intermodal, whether the trucks physically go through the neighborhoods, they are going to be emitting large amounts of diesel fumes that will adversely impact the neighborhoods. Idling trucks and trains will generate even more. 2. "Striking down the CSX site" will not mean that an intermodal would not be built, only that it would be located in a more appropriate location. It would not "reduce the amount of goods able to travel thru the USA." 3. Perhaps the most appropriate location would be off Shell Road at Wagner's Point in Baltimore. http://goo.gl/maps/xmb7 . This area has an existing CSX Rail yard, and the City of Baltimore owns a good portion of it from when it bought out all of the homeowners due to their high incidence of cancer. There are no neighbors and it should meet all of CSX's needs. I'm sorry that you feel that for our community's desire to have safe air to breathe is just "negative whining". But hopefully you will join us in finding a better location that can provide all of the benefits that CSX seeks, without creating all of the negative impacts that the CSX Intermodal would bring.
Nicky Frantz May 25, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Ms. Parkison, I believe you could be misinformed if you think that these containers will only be moved during business hours and that the clang of trucks will only occur during the daytime. The movement of cargo at the ports is a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year operation. According to an April 24th article in the Baltimore Sun, one of the world's largest container companies chose Baltimore over other East Coast cities as its first US stop for direct shipping from Northern Europe. The 1st ship arrived in February, a connection that is expected to increase the port's container traffic by roughly 10%. The exective director of the Maryland Port Administration expects to pick up more container traffic after the expected Panama Canal opens in 2014. The Port of Baltimore ranked 14th in the handling of containerized cargo. Baltimore's traffic in containers is expected to pick up after next August when the new berth opens and enables larger container ships to call at the port. So yes, the residents of this area have every reason to be concerned that this large operation will be located so close to our neighborhood. There are certainly more viable locations for this large and expanding business. We should take Mayor Rawlings-Blake up on her offer of having this intermodal facility in Baltimore.


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