A high-speed rail link between Vancouver, BC and Eugene, Oregon, could create up to 200,000 jobs for workers in British Columbia and Washington. Cascadia Rail image.
High-speed rail could cut travel time to 60 mins from 3 hours
On Friday, the BC government announced it will help fund a study of an ultra high-speed rail service that would connect Vancouver to Seattle and continue as far south as Eugene, Oregon.
The government says its support of the study is part of its efforts to strengthen its partnership with the state of Washington.
Premier John Horgan was joined by Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Friday to announce its contribution of $300,000 towards the in-depth study. Last week, the Washington state legislature approved funding of up to US$1.2 million toward the study.
The high-speed rail service would cut the travel time from Vancouver to Seattle from three hours to 60 minutes. According to the BC government press release, high speed rail trains can travel up to 400 Km/hr.
“The early study results show the corridor would help create jobs, generate affordable housing options, ease freeway traffic and clean our air. It’s an exciting step for Washington and British Columbia,” said Inslee.
Inslee added the ultra high-speed corridor would align British Columbia’s and Washington state’s goals of stronger economies through collaboration.
“The convenience of a one-hour trip between Vancouver and Seattle would create countless opportunities for people in both B.C. and Washington, from sports or concert getaways for families, to untold economic growth potential for businesses,” said Premier Horgan.
Horgan added “Exploring the possibility of creating a clean, efficient high-speed corridor is particularly important as the Pacific Northwest grows in economic importance, and we look to reduce barriers to expansion across our borders.”
Should the rail link be approved, it could create up to 200,000 jobs for BC and US workers and generate billions of dollars in economic benefits for the Cascadia Innovation Corridor, according to an economic analysis released last month by Washington State.
The Cascadia Innovation Corridor runs between BC, Washington and Oregon.
This new study will build on previous preliminary analysis. It will consider the practicality and business case for a high-speed rail corridor service by addressing factors including ridership levels, system development, delivery methods and financing. The study will include key community representatives and stakeholders from public and private sectors.