Press Release 03.12.18

Cascadia Rail celebrates high speed rail progress in legislature

Region one step closer to fast intercity transit, benefiting economy and quality of life

Cascadia Rail congratulates the Washington Legislature and the governor for funding further study of true high-speed rail connecting the Pacific Northwest. In the final day of the 2018 session, the legislature appropriated $750,000 (summing to $1.2 million if potential local matching funds are included) for further analysis of ridership, possible alignments and economic benefits of the alignment.

“Cascadia Rail applauds the efforts of Washington State Representatives Judy Clibborn, Gael Tarleton, Jake Fey and Senators Steve Hobbs and Marko Liias for their successful, visionary efforts to advance high speed rail in our region” said Cascadia Rail Board Vice President Paige Malott. “Whisking between Portland/Seattle and Seattle/Vancouver in 40-50 minutes is an achievable dream, and every incremental step matters.”

“With airports near capacity and highways increasingly unreliable, we need a revolution in intercity travel,” said Anthony Gill of the Spokane Chapter. “High-speed rail hits the sweet spot, giving us the door-to-door speed of air travel, the clean energy of mass transit, and a better traveler experience all in one. With the legislature’s continued support and continued rapid population growth on the horizon, the time is now to make this happen.”

“We commend the Washington Legislature for stepping up,” said Michael Zirkle, leader of the Tacoma Chapter of Cascadia Rail. “Tacoma to Seattle in 10 minutes and Tacoma to Portland in half an hour is transformational. The regional value is clear.”

This new funding brings the dream of fast, effortless regional travel one step closer to reality, though additional funding partners may be needed to complete a study that is truly investment grade.

“We are ready for this,” said Matt Glaziewski of the Portland Chapter. “We support a strong partnership to fully fund the due diligence necessary to bring this to our region.”

The enabling legislation requires the study to be completed by June 2019.

Cascadia Rail is a grassroots, Seattle-based organization with a vision for fast, effortless regional travel between Vancouver, Seattle, Portland and Spokane. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, visit