Originally Posted by WestCoast
This is quite important in my book. Glad to see someone trying to get something done. Maybe by the time I'm about to kick the bucket, trains will be running!
110mph is beyond lame if that's really the plan...... is this europe in the 1980s?
If we could match Europe in the 1960s
, that would be a start.
I was just doing a bit of googling... the new Cologne-Frankfurt high speed rail line
(gen 3 - ICE 3
) can go 250-300 km/h, is 177 km (110 miles) in length, and cost 6 billion Euros
; although was constructed from 1995-2002, so would cost much more today due to inflation. In miles that comes out to 54 million Euros/mile
However... that comes out to about 34 million Euros/kilometer (54 million Euros/mile), which isn't too bad. This includes the total cost of land, track, stations, and trains. Our MAX system has been right around $55 million/mile (MAX Yellow line
A system from Portland to Seattle, a distance of 180 miles, they're estimating $6.5 billion (2006 $$) for the Portland - to Vancouver BC section - which comes out to $36 million/mile
The WSDOT report linked above states that:
The total cost for all the construction and equipment necessary to achieve
WSDOT’s service goals for intercity passenger rail service between Portland,
Seattle, and Vancouver, BC is estimated to exceed $6.5 billion dollars in 2006
For a service level of 110 mph for the entire state. Hmm... and the document also states that 125 mph service would cost an additional $500 million, which is less than 10% of the total cost... seems like they should just go for it!
Note that the entire Cascades rail corridor from Eugene to Vancouver BC is 466 miles in length - more than 4x the length of the Frankfurt high-speed line.
Although true high-speed rail would be awesome.. I think I could live with this:
Thirteen round trips between Seattle and Portland, OR (headway in
multiples of one hour; travel time two hours thirty minutes).
but I can't believe I will have to wait 15 years for it to happen.
unrelated note - interestingly, Amtrak seems to have enacted variable pricing for the Cascades service, depending on what time you travel. Nearly $20 one-way difference between AM/PM travel time.