A proposed high-speed rail link between Vancouver, Seattle and Portland could see travel times between each city reduced to under an hour, according to the findings of a new report by the the Washington State Department of Transportation.
The department recently released a 400-page business case (supported by the governments of British Columbia, Oregon and Microsoft Corp) for the rail link, which would feature frequent trains running at speeds of up to 400 km/h, with intermediary stops proposed for Surrey as well as the Washington communities of Bellingham, Everett, Tacoma, Olympia and Kelso.
According to the report, it currently it takes about two hours and 40 minutes to drive from Seattle to Vancouver, or more than four hours by bus or train, while the driving time from Portland to Seattle is about three hours, or about three and a half hours by bus or train.
The link would also open the possibility of increased cross-border tourism opportunities in the region, while providing fast and convenient links between three Pacific coast gateways.
Projected annual ridership would be in excess of three million, with fare revenues estimated at more than US$250 million; the system is projected to cost between USD$24 billion to USD$42 billion.
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