Washington Governor Jay Inslee and B.C. Premier John Horgan. (B.C. government)

B.C. pitches in for Vancouver-Seattle high-speed rail study

John Horgan contributes $300,000 for business case analysis

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Governor Jay Inslee have announced their next step in an ambitious plan to build high-speed rail running from Vancouver to Seattle and Portland, Oregon.

B.C. will contribute $300,000 toward a business case study for the line, looking at various technologies to deliver high-speed rail, Horgan announced Friday in Vancouver. Inslee said his state’s earlier studies show big potential for ridership, fed by a hockey rivalry between the Vancouver Canucks and the prospective NHL franchise, the Seattle Totems.

“When you build a high-speed rail line, you are building a monument to optimism,” Inslee said. “Washington began a feasibility study, and it came back with nothing but optimism.”

Asked if cost overruns and delays in other projects are a concern, Horgan said the purpose of the business case study is to answer the questions about benefits and risks.

Inslee’s visit to B.C. follows approval in the Washington state legislature this week of a more detailed look at the proposal, including possible routes, expected ridership and economic benefits.

An earlier study commissioned by Washington’s Department of Transportation was released in December, looking at conventional high-speed rail as used extensively in Asia, and “maglev” that allows trains to float on magnetic fields without actually touching the track.

That study estimated the cost at between $24 and $42 billion, with details to come on the exact route and station locations.

Conventional high-speed trains can travel up to 350 km/h, with maglev technology already in use in Japan and China capable of more than 400 km/h. Travel from Vancouver to Seattle could take less than an hour.

In addition to the I-5 freeway, B.C. and Washington are already linked by Amtrak rail, airports and fast ferry service from Victoria.

Just Posted

Tweedsmuir Park wildfires grow to encompass more than 200,000 hectares

Four fires now managed under one as Tweedsmuir Complex, evacation orders and alerts still in place

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

UPDATE: 5 injured in plane crash following Abbotsford International Airshow

One in critical condition in incident involving vintage plane

B.C. team stays alive in Little League World Series after another nail-biter

Surrey-based squad scored a 6-4 win over Mexico reps in Williamsport on Monday

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

VIDEO: Teen soccer phenomenon Alphonso Davies to visit B.C. kids camp

The 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecap player is one of the youngest players in MLS history

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Liberals scrap lottery system for reuniting immigrants with their parents

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

Bear kills off-leash dog in B.C. park

There have been nearly 200 pet or livestock and bear encounters so far this year

Most Read