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.

BC legislatureState of Washington

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Katrine Conroy has won for the fifth time in the Kootenay West riding. Photo: Submitted
Katrine Conroy ready to tackle challenges after election

Conroy won the Kootenay West riding for the fifth time

Students at Stanley Humphries will be staging Nightmare on Seventh. L-R Emily Conley and Claire Cartwright are all dressed up and ready to go. Photo: Jennifer Small
Zombie apocalypse coming to Castlegar

High school students staging scary food drive

A view of the Burton Flats area. Photo: Submitted
Work progresses on man-made wetland near Burton

The project is already seeing modest results

Katrine Conroy
Katrine Conroy declared winner in Kootenay West

Preliminary results put NDP candidate firmly in the lead.

There are few details but neighbours a Second Avenue house in Chilliwack say a huge police presence descended on the home after shots were heard. (File photo)
RCMP looking for witnesses in $5000 auto part theft

Two catalytic converters valued around $5000 were taken Oct. 22

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

A heavy police presence was spotted in Lumby, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Facebook)
Police situation leads to ‘hold and secure’ at North Okanagan school

Police call for social media blackout in ongoing incident

École de l’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
COVID-19 outbreak forces closure of Kelowna school

The outbreak is the first within B.C.’s school system since classes resumed back in September

FILE – B.C. Lions and Toronto Argonauts owner, Senator David Braley speaks after the CFL announced Vancouver will host the 2014 Grey Cup championship football game during a news conference in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday March 8, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
BC Lions owner David Braley dead at 79

Braley had bought the CFL team prior to 1997 season

Most Read