Press Releases

DelBene Leads WA Delegation Members Pushing for Cascadia High-Speed Rail Funding

High-speed rail line would link the Cascadia region from Vancouver to Portland

Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) led 10 members of the Washington congressional delegation calling for the U.S. Department of Transportation to award funds for the Cascadia High-Speed Rail project. In a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the lawmakers urged the department to invest in establishing a high-speed rail network that will connect the Cascadia region from Vancouver, B.C. to Portland through Seattle.

“The Cascadia High-Speed Rail project has the potential to transform the Pacific Northwest. It allows us to create a better-connected economic megaregion…that will be poised for global competitiveness and future prosperity,” the lawmakers wrote.

With Seattle home to the third largest population of commuters who spend more than 90 minutes commuting to work one way nationwide, the high-speed rail line with a speed of up to 250 miles per hour would reduce travel time between Seattle and Tacoma/Everett to just 15 minutes.

This is a forward-looking investment that can help manage the region’s expected growth and the lack of affordable housing. Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver are expected to add three to four million more people by 2050—joining the nine million people who already live there.

“Projects like the Cascadia High-Speed Rail system are designed to serve future generations–our children and grandchildren–and that type of forward-thinking is what is needed to provide them with the infrastructure they need to succeed,” the letter emphasized.

The project is also expected to create an estimated 200,000 jobs across the Pacific Northwest in construction, operations, maintenance, and transit-oriented development, and jobs for another 840,000 people in other sectors. At an estimated construction cost of $42 billion, the project is expected to generate more than $335 billion in economic growth for the Cascadia region, making it a much more cost-effective investment than adding one additional lane per direction to I-5 costing $108 billion.

The Cascadia High-Speed Rail project aligns with climate goals, curbing carbon emissions and advancing sustainability efforts in the region.

The letter was also signed by Washington Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, and Representatives Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Adam Smith (WA-09), Kim Schrier (WA-08), and Marilyn Strickland (WA-10).

The letter can be found here.