Seattle to Portland in less than an hour

Study of ultra-high-speed transportation system released

An ultra-high-speed ground transportation system between Portland, Seattle and Vancouver BC would bring economic, environmental and mobility benefits to people living in the Cascadia Corridor, according to a recent study

Riders would be able to travel from Seattle to Portland or Vancouver in less than an hour via all-electric high-speed rail, magnetic levitation, or hyperloop technology.

The analysis looked at potential station areas, costs to build the system and other impacts, finding that the ultra-high-speed ground system would:

  • Create a new transportation spine in the region, offering new mobility options for all residents
  • Create an estimated $355 billion in economic growth
  • Cost between $24 billion to $42 billion in up-front construction costs (2017 estimate)
  • Provide between 1.7 million to 3.1 million one-way annual trips at start-up
  • Generate between $160 million and $250 million in initial annual revenue
  • Result in a reduction of 6 million metric tons of carbon emissions in the first 40 years

The Ultra-High-Speed Ground Transportation Business Case Analysis study was funded by the states of Washington and Oregon, the province of British Columbia, and Microsoft. It expands on a 2017-2018 preliminary examination of high-speed ground transportation in the corridor.

The exact route and type of ultra-high-speed transportation have not been decided yet and would require more analysis. In all scenarios, trips would include a stop in greater Vancouver, BC, the Seattle metro area and Portland.

Some trips also may include additional stops in other cities, including Surrey, BC, and Bellingham, Everett, Bellevue/Redmond, Tukwila, Tacoma, Olympia, and Kelso/Longview.

Learn more about the Ultra-High-Speed Ground Transportation study here.


I’d be happy if it was a 1.5-2.0 hour trip, as that’s better than driving, and it’s way better than flying. Due to cost considerations, it makes sense to me to focus of bottlenecks, then work from there.

In my trips along the corridor that includes Vancouver, BC, over the past several years, these are: (1) Through Vancouver, WA, even though the tracks are elevated at this point; (2) Through Marysville, where the tracks need to be elevated or below the surface; and (3) Around Everett.