News & Reviews News Wire Bill passed by Washington senate includes high speed rail funding

Bill passed by Washington senate includes high speed rail funding

By Trains Staff | February 17, 2022

| Last updated on March 25, 2024

Legislation’s $150 million would make state eligible for federal funds

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Map of proposed high speed rail route in Pacific Northwest
A map of the proposed route for the high speed rail line connecting Vancouver, B.C., to Portland, Ore. (Washington State Department of Transportation)

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington state Senate has passed a proposal that would provide $150 million in funding for the creation of a high speed rail line connecting Vancouver, British, Columbia, to Portland, Ore.

KING-TV reports the funding is part of a $16 billion transportation bill, Senate Bill 5974. That legislation passed by a 29-20 vote on Tuesday.

State Sen. Marko Liias (D-Edmonds, Wash.), one of the bill’s sponsors, says the $150 million will make the state eligible for $700 million in federal funding for the proposed high speed line, which would operate at speeds up to 200 mph and make it possible to go from Seattle to Portland or Vancouver in about an hour.

A 2019 study said the high speed line generate more than 3 million trips and farebox revenue of up to $250 million a year by 2040 [see “Study urges ‘ultra’ high speed rail …,” Trains News Wire, July 16, 2019].

The legislation now moves to the state House.

5 thoughts on “Bill passed by Washington senate includes high speed rail funding

  1. The existing route (BNSF along coast) is subject to bluff landslides and ocean rise. A new route needs to be found and it might as well be designed for high speed. Finding the appropriate real estate may be a deal stopper.

  2. The biggest issues with SEA-PDX HSR isn’t just financial, its engineering and operational. The area is seismic, volcanic and subject to landslides and forest fires. I get it, I have driven I-5 in the worse of times and they can’t widen it forever.

    I would simply hire the people who built/run the Shinkansen and let them do it.

    1. I get it. We need trains … so improve the existing routes and run the trains at normal speeds like 59 miles an hour.

      Trains compete on frequency and connectivity —- not speed.

  3. Democrat lunatics.

    By 2040 farebox revenue of up to a quarter billion a year. Assuming operating costs of zero so as to put the (up to) quarter billion of annual revenue to captial recovery (assuming no carrying costs) you pay for a mile of the route each year.

    The biggest obstacle to more and better passenger train service is the cult of demented fools advocating HSR.

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