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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Washington State, BNSF sign framework agreement for Cascades corridor work


Yesterday, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and BNSF Railway Co. signed an agreement setting the framework for the two parties to complete rail improvement projects along the Amtrak Cascades corridor between Portland, Ore., and Seattle.

The state will use $590 million in High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail stimulus funds to build bypass tracks and upgrade existing track along the corridor, enabling WSDOT and Amtrak to add two daily round trips between Seattle and Portland. The work also would help reduce travel times and improve average on-time performance from the current 62 percent to 80 percent.

WSDOT plans to begin initial work in fall.