PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Their speed, and what they could do for travel, is tantalizing. And now, Washington Governor Jay Inslee is asking lawmakers to continue studying bullet trains and high-speed ground transportation in the Pacific Northwest.
Cascadia Rail is one of many groups advocating for the insertion of a bullet train, one that would connect Portland through Seattle to Vancouver B.C. and east to Spokane.
“It’s something that can totally happen here,” said Matt Glazewskis with Cascadia Rail.
The group said a high-speed rail line would improve the quality of life for commuters as the roadways get even more congested. The group said the train could get someone from Portland to Seattle in 90 minutes.
“How many studies do we hear traffic is getting so much worse or how much money it would cost to have an extra freeway lane?” Glazewskis said. “Its just gonna get full of more cars.”
They also think it would boost tourism in the area.
“It would be a great way for us to be able to spread the tourism and economic development and wealth of the larger city centers and spread it to all of the other wonderful places around here in the cascade region,” he said.
Safety, however, is a concern. There have been 3 deadly Amtrak accidents in the last 3 months, including one in December that killed 3 and injured many more.
“In high speed rail we would actually have an exclusive right of way on tracks that are built for high speed rail and you wouldn’t have to worry about freight train traffic or crossing busy roads where there may be cars cross back and forth,” Glazewskis said.
Early reports said the project could cost as m,uch as $20 billion, meaning there’s plenty of more work until a train speeds through the Pacific Northwest.