Posts Tagged ‘Pacific Northwest high-speed rail’

Washington Ballot Measure Seen as Not Affecting Proposed Pacific Northwest High-Speed Rail Project

November 17, 2019

Supporters of a proposal to institute high-speed rail in the Pacific Northwest believe that the passage of a ballot measure in Washington State curtailing vehicle registration fees will not necessarily halt the project.

Washington voters approved Initiative 976, which caps the annual state and local car tab fees at $30.

In the wake of that vote, public transit officials expressed concern that funding for projects in the works or in the planning stage could be stymied for lack of funding.

Janet Matkin, communications manager for the Washington State Transportation Department, said Initiative 976 should not affect the high-speed rail project because it is still in the early planning stages.

She said there are a number of funding options that could be examined for the high-speed rail project, which envisions trains traveling 250 mph in the Portland-Seattle-Vancouver corridor.

Microsoft Hosting High-Speed Rail Summit

October 26, 2019

Software maker Microsoft will host along the U.S. High Speed Rail Association a summit meeting on Nov. 6-9 that will discuss building a high-speed rail line between Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, British Columbia, via Seattle.

It is not the company’s first involvement in high speed rail. It granted $573,667 toward the cost of feasibility studies of high-speed rail in the Pacific Northwest, where Microsoft is headquartered.

The summit will seek to build on early studies of the market viability of high-speed rail.

Summit organizer hope to create momentum for the project and to begin planning, financing and governance work.

The speaker list includes officials from Washington State, the Oregon Department of Transportation, the city of Vancouver, Microsoft, WSP, Talgo, Siemens and Alstom.

The summit will be held at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

Microsoft Donates Again to High-Speed Rail Study

October 8, 2019

Software giant Microsoft will donate another $223,667 to help pay for a study of the feasibility of of building a high-speed rail service between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Portland, Oregon, via Seattle.

Microsoft has made previous contributions to the study, which is being conducted by the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The latest grant will bring to $573,667 the amount that Microsoft has advanced toward the study’s cost, which also is being funded by the province of British Columbia and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

The idea of a high-speed rail line linking the three largest cities in the Pacific Northwest has been around since 2017.

The proposal envisions trips from Seattle to Vancouver taking less than an hour.

An earlier WSDOT study put the cost of high-speed rail service at $24 to 42 billion to create. That study projected annual ridership of 1.7 million to 2.1 million in 2035.