U.S. announces funds to develop Cascadia High-Speed Rail
The project will receive $500,000 for early planning work.
- The project includes linking Oregon, Washington State and B.C. with high-speed rail service.
- It was one of seven high-speed rail projects to receive funding.
- Project sponsors will now receive $500,000 to complete the first step of the Corridor ID program, which includes researching the scope, schedule, and cost estimate for preparing a service development plan (SDP) for a corridor.
The Whole Story:
America is investing in high-speed rail connections.
The Biden administration has announced US$6.1 billion in new funding for major passenger rail projects across the country, including Cascadia High-Speed Rail, a proposed high-speed rail corridor linking Oregon, Washington State and Vancouver.
The Cascadia project is one of many getting funding through Corridor ID, a new planning program established by President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Its inaugural round includes upgrades to 15 existing rail routes, additions or extended service on 47 new routes, and advancing 7 new high-speed rail projects.
The proposed corridor would connect Vancouver, B.C. to Portland, Ore. via Seattle, Wash. with a potential future extension south to Eugene, Ore. The proposed corridor would provide new high-speed rail service on a new alignment.
The program defines high-speed rail as services planned to operate at speeds of up to 186 mph or greater, primarily or solely on new, dedicated alignment.
For each selected corridor, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) initially awards the grantee $500,000 for eligible activities related to the initiation of a grantee’s corridor development. This includes the development of a scope, schedule, and cost estimate for preparing a service development plan (SDP) for a corridor. For Cascadia, the funds will go to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
According to program documents, upon the FRA’s determination that the grantee has successfully completed Step 1, they will award the grantee funds for Step 2 activities. This includes preparing a service development plan, which determines and documents how the corridor will be implemented. This plan must detail all the capital projects necessary to achieve the proposed service. FRA will determine the funding amount for Step 2 based on the cost estimate developed in Step 1.
Step 3 of the program includes the project development work required to make a corridor ready for final design and construction.
Other high-speed rail projects that received funding to go ahead with Step 1 activities include:
Amtrak Texas High-Speed Rail Corridor
The proposed corridor would connect Dallas and Houston in Texas with a new, dedicated and grade-separated high-speed passenger rail service. The proposed corridor would provide new service on a new alignment, with station stops in Dallas, Brazos Valley, and Houston.
Brightline West High-Speed Corridor
This corridor in California would connect Rancho Cucamonga to Las Vegas, Nev., providing new service on a new high-speed rail alignment with intermediate stops at Hesperia and Victorville, Calif.
Charlotte, North Carolina, to Atlanta, Georgia, Corridor
The proposed corridor would provide new service on a new high-speed rail alignment between Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta, Ga., with potential intermediate stops including Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in South Carolina and Augusta and Athens, Ga., then serving a downtown Atlanta station and terminating at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the world’s busiest airport.
Fort Worth to Houston High-Speed Rail Corridor
The proposed corridor would connect Fort Worth, Dallas, and Houston, Texas, with a new high- speed passenger rail service. The proposed corridor would provide new service on a new alignment, with station stops in Fort Worth, Arlington, Dallas, Brazos Valley, and Houston.
High Desert Intercity High-Speed Rail Corridor
This proposed corridor would connect Victor Valley to Palmdale, Calif. The proposed corridor would provide new high-speed rail service on a new alignment, serving to link two other highspeed rail lines under development: Brightline West and California High Speed Rail Phase 1.