, Elkridge became involved with the Panama Canal.
Transportation officials they were considering four sites in Maryland to handle an influx of cargo from the Panama Canal expansion.
With the canal doubling in width, CSX anticipates double the freight and plans to stack containers on its trains. But double-stacked containers can't make it through the Howard Street tunnel from the Port of Baltimore, where CSX currently runs its cargo operation.
So Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and CSX proposed four sites for a new facility, south of the tunnel: on by Dorsey Run Road; on at Hanover Road; on Brock Bridge Road; and by the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.
Wherever it goes, the facility would be located along CSX's main line and serve as a hub for trucks and trains.
Because of its train-truck service, the facility is called intermodal, which means "involving multiple modes of transport."
At the intermodal facility, cranes would double-stack containers onto trains and swap containers between trains and trucks. From there, trucks would ferry freight to warehouses in the region and trains would carry loads across the National Gateway, a series of stations CSX is building to serve points west.
Over the past year, the four candidate sites for the intermodal facility in Maryland have . Most recently, widespread concern among the affected communities prompted an around all four candidate sites.
Currently, the sites are undergoing a federally mandated , which could be complete by the end of the year, at which point CSX and MDOT may select a location. Transportation officials plan to open the intermodal facility in 2015, to capitalize on the Panama Canal project's completion in 2014.