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Plans Develop for High-Speed Rail in the PNW

Published on July 28, 2023

Image of Japanese National Railways 0 series Shinkansen bullet train traveling through countryside running between Mishima and Shinfuji in Japan with Mt. Fuji in background and wheat fields in front
Image Credit: Shellparakeet (CC0 1.0)

With a growing population in the Pacific Northwest, the call for better public transportation heightens. This March, Washington’s State Legislature signed off on a transportation milestone, allocating $150 million to a high-speed connection between Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.

Though this funding could reduce congestion, cut carbon emissions, and better connect these coastal cities, a high-speed rail that travels above 200 miles per hour between major cities has never been done before in the United States. How will Washington get started? How will the State ensure a successful project?

A new research report by the University of Washington examines these very questions and identifies key concepts that community members can help with to achieve an efficient high-speed rail. If a rail is built successfully, there will be an extraordinary increase in transportation abilities — saving commuters time while reducing environmental harm.

Professors Jan Whittington and Qing Shen at the UW’s Department of Urban Design and Planning led the research, and with no previous high-speed rail projects in the Northwest, they turned to other states and abroad.

“The purpose of the study was to draw lessons learned from projects, systems, and expertise around the world where high-speed rail has been successful,” Whittington said.

Continue reading at South Seattle Emerald.

Original story by Sarah Goh for South Seattle Emerald.
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