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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Oregon DOT, British Columbia, Microsoft pledge funds for high-speed rail study


The province of British Columbia, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Microsoft Corp. are contributing $750,000 to study high-speed rail service between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.

The new funds are in addition to the $750,000 the Washington State Legislature provided earlier this year to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) for the study.

The study builds on a 2017 preliminary analysis for a new 250 mph high-speed rail system in the Pacific Northwest. That earlier analysis laid the groundwork for the more "in-depth business case evaluation that WSDOT will undertake over the next year," department officials said in a press release.

The service could provide one-hour trips between Seattle and Vancouver. The proposed line could help foster economic growth in the region and encourage "greater collaboration, deeper economic ties and balanced growth for years to come," said Microsoft President Brad Smith.

"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," added Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

WSDOT tapped WSP to complete the business case study. Other members of the study team include Steer Davies Gleave, EnviroIssues, Paladin Partners, and Transportation Solutions.

In addition, a new committee will provide advice during the year-long technical analysis.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/30/2018