Is High Speed Rail Coming to Washington?

Remember the high speed trains Katniss & Peeta rode into “The Capital” in The Hunger Games Trilogy?

The Hunger Games (via YouTube)
The Hunger Games (via YouTube)

Those “Bullet Trains” popular in Japan and Europe are now on the planning table here in America.

'High-speed rail lines are proposed for California, Nevada, Texas, Georgia and the Pacific Northwest, and already under construction in California's Central Valley.'


One proposed High Speed Train network, is named “Cascadia Rail.”

Cascadia Rail would link Eugene, Oregon to Vancouver, British Columbia. The high speed train would use the current highway footprint. As an example, the Vancouver-Seattle-Portland-Eugene route would have tracks in between the existing I-5’s freeway.  Think of the tall, grassy gully’s between I-5’s northbound and southbound freeways. That’s where you would zip along at up to 250 miles per hour. Travel time between Vancouver to Seattle to Portland would be cut down to just 90 minutes. For daily Workers who normally see a 90 minute or 2 hour commute; high speed rail would reduce their time to just 15 to 30 minutes. 

East of the Cascades, there are high speed rail options involving Spokane, The Tri-Cities, Yakima and Ellensburg. 

One proposed route is a non-stop Spokane to Everett trip. I would hope that the area reps in Olympia would lobby for a stop in Wenatchee or Leavenworth.

CREDIT: Cascadia Rail
CREDIT: Cascadia Rail

So what is the timeline for a Pacific Northwest high speed train?

Several Washington State officials are asking the federal government for just under $200 million dollars to fund the high speed project. 

Washington State has pledged to match federal funds with $50 million dollars of state money.

Looking at the WSDOT’s Cascadia High-Speed Rail proposal, the timeline of analysis and technical scenario planning will run through the summer of 2024.

Planners will be relying on upcoming support from community-based organizations, local government, Tribal and Indigenous communities and others across the entire Pacific Northwest to see high speed rail become a reality. 

INFO: WSDOT,,, Seattle Transit Blog

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