Washington state lawmakers reaffirm support of high speed rail service

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Washington state’s delegation in the House of Representatives recently sent a letter to Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Administrator Amit Bose to express its support of high speed rail and improved intercity passenger rail service in Washington and the Pacific Northwest.

The lawmakers stated they were pleased to see that the Cascadia Ultra-High-Speed Ground Transportation (UHSGT) project and the Amtrak Cascades Corridor received Corridor Identification and Development Program funding.

“Cities and counties across the nation want more frequent and more reliable intercity passenger rail service, and the Pacific Northwest is no exception,” the letter said. “The combined population of Seattle, Washington, Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, British Columbia, is expected to grow by up to 4 million people by 2050. Reliable and efficient passenger rail service is and will continue to be essential to connecting communities across Washington.”

The Cascadia UHSGT project would connect Vancouver, British Columbia, to Portland via high speed rail that can travel up to 250 miles per hour.

The Washington State Legislature allocated $4 million in 2022 for additional project analysis.

The letter was signed by U.S. Reps. Rick Larsen (D-WA), the leading Democrat on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Adam Smith (D-WA), and Marilyn Strickland (D-WA).