Portland to Seattle Ultra High Speed Ground Transportation Study Summary

Washingto State December 2017 Portland to Vancouver High Speed Transportation Study

We have to give credit to the folks in Washington State who are studying the options for improving transportation between Portland and Vancouver. Their first preliminary study actually compared High Speed Rail to Maglev and the not yet invented Jetson's style Hyperloop.

The giant price tag of $24 to 42 billion will scare off most people. Likely improvements to the existing Amtrak Cascaded route will be the reality. Starting next week Amtrak is adding two more trains each way between Portland and Seattle but nothing yet for Vancouver. Significant issues still need to be resolved before more trains can be added to Vancouver. The important the issue of customs/immigration clearance is just one of these issues.

To read the summary of the study click HERE.

VIA Rail Budd Car Refurbishment Remembered

As VIA Rail Canada struggles it survive we thought it would be interesting to return back to the 1990s. At that time there was no funding for new passenger rail cars for VIA Rail and they refurbished their 1954 built Budd stainless steel cars. They were called HEP1 cars and the work was completed by AMF. They are still in service.

We found these photos in our archives of the units being rebuilt. click HERE. Also if you want the history of the HEP car refurbishment click HERE.

Excitement Builds Anticipating the Release of the Vancouver to Seattle High Speed Rail Study

We do like the hype that is happening regarding the release of the Vancouver to Seattle High Speed Rail Study.

Here are some media highlights:

1. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is optimistic about creating a high-speed train to connect Vancouver, B.C. and Seattle. LINK

2. Washington state is exploring whether Canada's new infrastructure bank could help finance a multibillion-dollar proposal for high-speed rail between Vancouver and the U.S. northwest. LINK

3. Premier John Horgan talks about high-speed rail connecting Vancouver and Seattle and some potential issues. LINK

4. A blog asking the question, Crossing the Border: Is The High-Speed Rail A Good Idea For Vancouver? LINK

We at High Speed Rail Canada are supportive of modernizing the Seattle to Vancouver passenger rail route. A few salient points that would have to be addressed are:

  • Cross Border Crossing Times - It killed the Toronto-Sarnia-Chicago train and would have to be resolved.
  • Cost - Early estimates suggest a $27-$42 billion price tag. That amount eclipses the total amount of money available from the new Canada Infrastructure Bank.
  • Route and NIMBY - The Not in My Backyard movements are increasingly strong due to the electronic age we live. They can mobilize quickly. The proposed route will surely face a tough road ahead from our litigious neighbours to the south. Look at the example in Florida with the new privately financed Brightline passenger rail line and the hostility it faced.
  • The Trump Factor - There is an uneasiness on both sides of the border about doing anything collaborative between our two countries with the current USA president.

Let us not tell our British Columbia high speed rail supporters that are over 20 Ontario HSR studies  sitting on the shelve. We can only hope they will not have to wait as long to modernize their cross border passenger rail service.

Can Ontario’s intercity bus, train services compete with cars, planes?

Reminder that Transport Futures is proud to announce that their 20th learning event will focus on Ontario's intercity rail and bus service and whether they can compete with car and air travel. Taking place in Toronto on November 27, 2017
 With a provincial election taking place in June 2018, the time to have a meaningful conversation about intercity travel is now. As detailed in our interactive agenda, the conference will feature Canadian and international experts discussing rail and bus systems from several perspectives: history and culture; planning and infrastructure; technology and interoperability; mobility hubs and first/last mile options; customer service and demand; modal competition and safety; finance and funding; risk and delivery; governance and politics. We'll explore how multiple rail and bus services can co-exist efficiently, fulfil different functions, build a cohesive transportation network and make effective use of limited tax dollars.

To achieve these intercity travel objectives, Transport Futures has invited 13 speakers to share their experience and insights:
  • Hon. David Collenette, Special Advisor for Ontario High Speed Rail and former federal Minister of Transport
  • Peter Crockett, Chief Administrative Officer, Oxford County
  • Corina MoorePresident and CEO, Ontario Northland Transportation Commission
  • Carsten Puls, President, Deutsche Bahn Engineering and Consulting
  • Doug Switzer, President and CEO, Ontario Motor Coach Association and Motor Coach Canada
  • Derrick Toigo, Executive Vice-President, Civil - Roads & Transit, Infrastructure Ontario
  • Paul Nimigon, Vice President - Rail and Transit Division, WSP Canada Group
  • Tim Hoeffner, Director, Office of Rail, Michigan Department of Transportation
  • Jim Richards, Director, Rail Market Leader, Steer Davies Gleave
  • Michael Schabas, Partner, FCP Rail Consultants
  • Mark Platteel, General Counsel, ACS Infrastructure Canada
  • Murtaza Haider, Associate Professor, Ryerson University
  • Paul Langan, Founder, High Speed Rail Canada
Along with great food to keep you energized all day, our packed agenda provides you with ample time to ask questions and network with 100 delegates. Be sure to register today as seating is limited!

NOTE; Interesting conference  not sure if there is any room to register in it still. Paul Langan, Founder High Speed Rail Canada will be on a panel at. We need more of these conferences in Ontario.

VIA RAIL Canada Act Bill C-370 has been added to High Speed Rail Canada site

MP Irene Mathyssen Private Members Bill C-370 VIA RAIL Canada Act has been added to our list of previous VIA Rail Acts in our archives. To view the act CLICK HERE

It is interesting to note as the size of this Bill is the smallest so far on VIA RAIL. Previously, Bill C-26 was 122 pages, Bill C-614 was 37 pages and this Bill C-640 is just 8 pages. What could it all mean?

Enjoy reading the bill and we wish MP Mathyssen the best of luck with her bill.