FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mike Evitts, Downtown Partnership 410.528.7719
Sara Warfield, Visit Baltimore 410.659.7071
Steve Kulm, AMTRAK 202.906.3730
IMPROVEMENTS WILL SOON GREET TRAVELERS AT BALTIMORE’S PENNSYLVANIA STATION PLATFORMS
New track-level landscaping and video signage are in the works
courtesy of Downtown Partnership and Visit Baltimore
(Baltimore, MD) – Amtrak has given Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and Visit Baltimore permission to proceed with plans to install new landscaping and a video welcome sign on the track level of Baltimore’s Pennsylvania Station.
The project will have four components: a large “Baltimore” sign; a cutting-edge screen to show promotional videos about Baltimore; new landscaping for the hill on the north side of the tracks; and attractive new fencing at the top of the hill. Much of the design has been done and fabrication of the signage and video screen base are set to begin. Installation of the project is expected to be completed in 2013. (NOTE: Images are below)
The project is being funded jointly by Downtown Partnership and Visit Baltimore. Other partners include Amtrak, the Central Baltimore Partnership and the Charles Street Development Corporation. The contractors are Mahan Rykiel (landscape architects); Gutierrez Studios (design concept and fabrication of the sign and video mount); EBA engineering, and NV3 (video consultation) in conjunction with LED Media Group/QST-North America. “Penn Station is a major gateway and the all-important first impression of our city for tens of thousands of passengers each year,” said Kirby Fowler, President of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore. “We looked at the overall quality of that experience and felt this is something we can do in the near term to improve it.” “When train passengers look up as they arrive at our station, they currently see a barren hill. We saw an opportunity to improve that experience by welcoming travelers and creating video signage that will convey positive news and images about Baltimore,” said Tom Noonan, President and CEO of Visit Baltimore. “There is no overstating the value of that first impression as travelers pull into the station.”
The public-private initiative led by Downtown Partnership and Visit Baltimore is a creative and welcome way to enhance Baltimore’s Pennsylvania Station as my administration pursues longer-term capital improvements with Amtrak and our Federal representatives in Congress,” said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “Baltimore is an important city along the Northeast Corridor and we are pleased to work with our local partners to make this attractive improvement possible for visiting passengers,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman. Baltimore Penn Station is the eighth busiest station in the Amtrak national network and growing. In the fiscal year ending September 30, more than one million passengers traveled through the station, which represents an increase of 7.9 percent over the prior year.
Downtown Partnership is a nonprofit corporation working with the public and private sectors to make Downtown Baltimore a great place for businesses, employees, residents, and visitors. The Partnership’s policies and programs have led to a cleaner & safer Downtown, to an increase in housing and retail opportunities, to the retention of key employers, to the development of solutions to transportation challenges, and to increased public and private investments in the area. Visit
www.GoDowntownBaltimore.com for more information. Visit Baltimore is the official sales and marketing organization for Baltimore that generates economic benefits for stakeholders through the attraction of convention, group and leisure visitors. For more information, please visit www.baltimore.org.
Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. A record 31.2 million passengers traveled on Amtrak in FY 2012 on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Amtrak operates intercity trains in partnership with 15 states and contracts with 13 commuter rail agencies to provide a variety of services. Enjoy the journey® at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Join us on facebook.com/Amtrak and follow us at twitter.com/Amtrak. (ATK-12-100)
RENDERING OF IMPROVEMENTS