Planning study news
The Cascadia High-Speed Rail study is now coordinating with WSDOT’s I-5 Master Planning Study to address the future transportation needs of western Washington communities. The integrated Cascadia High-Speed Rail and I-5 Program allows us to look holistically at highway, rail, and other travel options.
During the 2022 legislative session, the Washington State Legislature allocated $4 million for additional analysis and development of an expanded framework for future high-speed rail, and $150 million to be used as matching funds to leverage federal funding opportunities over the next six years.
WSDOT used these designated matching funds to apply for two federal grants from the Federal Railroad Administration. Announcements of whether those applications were successful are expected by the end of 2023. The project is awaiting notification about this federal funding before further study occurs.
Between July 2022 and June 2023, planning activities were completed in alignment with legislative direction, including:
• Developing a recommended initial project governance structure to support early planning
• Identifying key principles to guide Cascadia UHSGT communications and outreach
• Analyzing how UHSGT can help advance the future of the region, considering different scenarios for how conditions change in the future
• Submitting two U.S. federal funding applications to advance UHSGT planning, totaling $198.1 million (USD)
A status report on the Cascadia High-Speed Rail project (formerly known as ultra-high-speed ground transportation UHSGT) was submitted to the Governor and Legislature on June 30, 2023, reporting on the work identified above.
WSDOT is studying how high-speed ground rail might serve as a catalyst to transform the Pacific Northwest. A stronger, better connected economic megaregion — stretching from greater Vancouver, British Columbia to metro Seattle, Washington to Portland, Oregon — has the potential to thrive in the global marketplace. A key component of that vision is a fast, frequent, reliable and environmentally responsible transportation system that unites this Cascadia megaregion, and positions it for global competitiveness and future prosperity.
2023 UHSGT status report
This report to the Legislature provides an overview on activities that have occurred between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023. It is not a planning report subject to public comment.
View the 2023 UHSGT status report (PDF 775KB) submitted to the Washington State Legislature in June 2023.