Seattle to Vancouver in an hour?

New study to look at ultra-high-speed rail

The $1.5 million Cascadia Innovation Corridor study is being led by the Washington State and Oregon Department of Transportations, the Province of British Columbia and Microsoft.

“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,” said Washington Governor Jay Inslee.

The study will look at the feasibility of developing a 250+ mph rail system to connect Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, BC.

Regional business leaders have made the case that improving connectivity between these three cities are important to the innovation economy.

“We are excited to see regional leaders invest in the continued pursuit of a high-speed rail that will help grow economic opportunities in the Cascadia Innovation Corridor,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith. “Shrinking the distance between Seattle, Vancouver, BC and Portland will encourage greater collaboration, deeper economic ties and balanced growth for years to come.”

The study seeks to identify potential corridors for ultra-high-speed ground transportation, estimate potential ridership, examine governing issues, and refine cost estimates and financing alternatives.  

The study is expected to conclude in 2019. Ultra-high-speed rail would be in addition to existing Amtrak service.