Cross-Border High-Speed Rail Studied for the Pacific Northwest

The state of Washington has taken a first, serious look at a high-speed rail project linking Vancouver in British Columbia to Seattle and Portland.
December 26, 2017, 1pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Volodymyr Kyrylyuk

Jennifer Saltman reports: "An ultra-high-speed rail line linking Vancouver to Seattle and Portland would cost between $24 billion and $42 billion US and attract around 1.8 million riders per year, according to a study conducted by Washington’s department of transportation [pdf]."

The report examines "five conceptual routes and narrowed it down to three primary corridors," according to Saltman.

The first would begin at Vancouver International Airport and make a total of seven stops, including downtown Seattle and the Rose Quarter station in Portland. This route has the highest potential ridership of about two million annually by 2035.

The report also compared the costs and benefits of three technologies—high-speed rail, maglev, and the Hyperloop. On the latter technology, the report is diplomatic but skeptical: "It is not anticipated that hyperloop technologies will be ready for commercial viability for at least the next decade, and viability is highly dependent on regulatory acceptance of the technology."

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Published on Friday, December 15, 2017 in Vancouver Sun
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