The legislature directed the JTC to oversee an independent review of the proposed ultra-high-speed rail system being considered for the Cascadia Megaregion that could connect Vancouver, BC; Seattle, WA; Portland, OR, and points in-between and beyond. The consultant will analyze the three studies previously completed for this proposed corridor (overseen by WSDOT); and examine the assumptions underlying the findings from those studies.
In addition, the consultants will describe the market, cost, economic, environmental, technology, and governance/ implementation factors for three high speed rail (HSR) scenarios:
- Incremental high-speed rail (HSR) service, which mainly utilizes existing rail corridors similar to the Acela service in the Northeast Corridor (Boston-Washington DC).
- State of the art HSR service equivalent to the latest 200 mph+ systems in Europe and Asia on mainly newly constructed corridors
- Hybrid HSR service, which utilizes new infrastructure in rural areas and existing infrastructure in urban areas similar to the California High-Speed Rail Project
Finally, the consultants will assess the range of governance, procurement, delivery methods (e.g., traditional, design-build, construction manager at risk), and finance methods (e.g., public, PPP, private), that could help move the Cascadia UHSR Project from concept to operations.
For this study the JTC has contracted with a consulting team led by RSG. A final report will be submitted to the legislature by June 30, 2023.
Presented at JTC meeting December 15, 2022:
Independent Review of Cascadia Ultra High Speed Rail Study Update