Vancouver, Seattle and Portland sign pact to push for high-speed rail

Acela power car in Boston South station. Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Portland Mayor Sam Adams have signed a protocol agreement that will unite the three major cities in the push to secure a high-speed railway service through the Pacific Northwest region.

Mayor Robertson made the announcement at a special meeting of key state, business, railway and government leaders in Vancouver to discuss advancing high-speed rail between British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon.

“Having a high-speed link to Seattle, Portland and points further south will help get more vehicles off the road, provide an attractive tourist option and create significant economic opportunities,” Mayor Robertson said. “We are seeing the benefits of Amtrak passenger rail expansion in Vancouver. We need an organized, strategic approach to ensure we have a strong, united voice for the expansion of rail service along the key Pacific Northwest corridor.”

“Regional cooperation on high-speed rail between our cities is a tremendously positive step,” said Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. “We look forward to working with Vancouver and Portland to bring our cities even closer.”

"The Pacific Northwest leads the way in sustainable development and smart transit," said Portland Mayor Sam Adams. "Linking our region will mean increased trade and tourism, long-term manufacturing and engineering work, and a significant reduction in our collective carbon footprint."

As part of the on-going push to strengthen railway links through the Cascadia corridor, Mayor Robertson hosted a meeting of senior rail, government and business leaders to discuss international railway links and to hear about California’s plan for a $2.25 billion high-speed rail connection between San Francisco and San Diego.

The Vancouver meeting of rail and government officials was arranged by Seattle’s Cascadia Institute and the Vancouver Economic Development Commission. The meeting is being held in conjunction with the American Public Transit Association Convention.


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