Imagine 2040. Travelers between Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, British Columbia, zip along in ultrafast trains, as a newly finished transnational system unites a vast “megaregion.”  That’s the vision in a new study released by the Washington State Department of Transportation. Big-picture argument: fast trains good. Details? This super-preliminary study alone weighs in at 400 pages. Some of its standout numbers:

250 MPH

Potential top speeds for trains linking the “Cascadian megaregion’s” major cities


Approx. travel time, in minutes, between Portland and Seattle on high-speed system


New jobs high-speed rail could generate, directly and indirectly


Metric tons of CO2 emissions that could be avoided over 40 years


Estimated annual riders


Estimated system construction costs


Intercity air travel high-speed rail could replace in the region

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