As a part of President Obama’s new infrastructure plans, he has targeted high speed rail corridors across the United States. The only one in North America right now is the Boston-New York-Washington, D.C. Acela train. The Pacific Northwest is an important region in North America and it make senses for a Vancouver-Seattle-Portland rail line.
The drive is about6-7 hours down to Portland. The only bottlenecks while driving are the border crossing and rush hour traffic in the metropolitan areas. If there were a High-Speed Rail, we could cut the travel time by at least a third. Howver, there are some major challenges.
Amtrak is already trying to get a second train running between Vancouver and Seattle, but the Canadian Border Service Agency is asking for a huge amount of money per day to check the trains. The new track has been laid and old portions of the line upgraded, but the border is proving to be a major barrier. Also, we would need some major realignment of track and possibly new track to accommodate high speed trains.
High speed rail would be great so that we don’t need to line up our cars across the 49, but the price tag will be high. Just look at California’s ambitious plans to create their high speed rail lines at the California High Speed Rail Authority site.