A new study is underway to evaluate the future of ultra-high-speed ground transport which aims to connect Vancouver, British Columbia, Seattle, Washington, and Portland (Oregon). The Province of British Columbia, the Oregon Department of Transport and Microsoft Corp., have joined Washington state in funding the effort. The business case study will be elaborated by the WSP, selected through a competitive process.
The three partners announced that they were contributing a combined USD 750,000 toward the study efforts. This is in addition to the USD 750,000 the Washington State Legislature provided to the Washington State Department of Transport earlier this year, for a total of USD 1.5 million.
“High-speed rail would cut travel times between Vancouver and Seattle and bring huge benefits to British Columbia. We’re excited about this next step and look forward to the findings of Washington’s in-depth study,” said Premier of British Columbia, John Horgan.
This new study builds on a preliminary analysis conducted in 2017 for a new 250 mph transport system in the Pacific Northwest. That study laid the groundwork for the more in-depth business case evaluation that WSDOT (Washington Department of Transport) will undertake over the next year. The need for the study grew out of ongoing Cascadia Innovation Corridor planning efforts.
“We developed a vision for a better-connected Cascadia mega region that will help our talented entrepreneurs, researchers and workers share knowledge and expand economic opportunity. The possibilities created by connecting our three largest cities via a high-speed transportation options are really exciting,” Washington Governor, Jay Inslee said.
The study will identify potential corridors for ultra-high-speed ground transport, estimate potential ridership, refine cost estimates and analyze both international and United States high-speed rail infrastructure projects to identify lessons learned.