Cascadia High Speed Rail Company’s mission is to design, secure funding, and develop an economically feasible high-speed intercity, commuter, and freight parcel rail corridor in the Pacific Northwest. The goal for the 413-mile, electrified, double-track Cascadia High Speed Rail corridor between Eugene, Oregon, and Vancouver, BC, will be the ultimate transportation system for on-time delivery. CHSR will deliver passengers and parcels in a fraction of the time compared to other ground transportation modes. CHSR will not only be a new, innovative, and disruptive transportation system but will be developed to the highest safety standards set by the Federal Rail Administration (FRA). CHSR will provide an unmatched catalyst for developing new environmentally focused, livable town centers at mixed-use station hubs. These hubs will be connected to other corridors for light rail, streetcar, buses, autos, water taxis, bikeways, and pedestrians. CHSR will offer the ultimate customer experience and safety for business, commuters, and leisure passengers. The intended result is to provide society with a choice to live in a progressive community with a well-connected variety of transportation options that induces job growth via the construction and use of new residences, retail businesses, and entertainment centers. The future is now to build a more equitable environment.
The Pacific Northwest, also known as Cascadia, has been recognized as a potential high-speed rail corridor since 1992 when the USDOT Federal Railroad Administration identified it as one of the original ten best high-speed rail corridors for development. The US High-Speed Rail Association (USHSR) recommends to President Biden’s infrastructure funding proposal that CHSR be #4 for funding.
1. Most recently, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg recommended that CHSR is #3 for funding.
2. CHSR Company has financed and coordinated the following six studies to develop the design and analyze the CHSR corridor and station location possibilities.
3. 2006-2022, Technical Expert Rudy Niederer, studied and designed CHSR corridor and station location options with assistance from Brad Perkins.
4. August 2016 Transportation Economics & Management Systems, Inc. (TEMS) completed the Fix America Surface Transportation (FAST) Study that was registered with the Federal Railroad Administration.
5. September 2018, TEMS completed the CHSR Economic Feasibility Study and determined that private investors (Amazon, FedEx, UPS, etc.) could help finance 40 to 60 percent of the capital costs of the corridor.
6. April 2018 Ankrom Moisan Architects completed four CHSR Station Area Development Scenarios for the Portland Rose Quarter, Vancouver WA waterfront, Tacoma Dome and Seattle Central I-5 Link Commuter Train locations.
6. January 2022, TEMS completed the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement Study between Portland and Seattle, which has been submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). CHSR Company is now prepared to secure private/public partnership funding to initiate the Tier 2 Environmental Impact Statement Study.
7. In April 2023, TEMS completed the CHSR Economic Feasibility Study or Business Prospectus update to stimulate investment by Amazon and/or FedEx, UPS, and lease the CHSR corridor.
THE FUTURE IS NOW
The Portland-based Cascadia High-Speed Rail Company plans to use the most advanced technology and methods to design, finance, and build high-speed rail corridors in the United States. Since 2006, CHSR Company has been developing a transportation system capable of supporting trains at over 250 mph. Through detailed studies of topography, land use planning, and economic feasibility during the CHSR corridor design phase, we are now prepared for a technical and public critique of our recommendations. These recommendations include where to build the CHSR corridor on the ground, flyovers, in tunnels, and locate station/hub town centers to connect towns between Eugene, Oregon, and Vancouver, BC. It will be financed with public and private funds for capital construction to transport passengers and parcel freight. State-of-the-art boring machines will be used for tunnel construction, and modern gantry systems will be used to build flyovers, saving a tremendous amount of time and money. Company’s and TEMS’s advanced studies in CHSR corridor design, finance, and construction methods have helped us determine the construction cost of the corridor between Eugene, OR, and Seattle, WA, to be $31.7 billion. To make the project affordable, the public sector must collaborate with the private sector to recommend cost-saving construction methods and innovative funding plans. The State of California’s “public trough” funding plan is paying.
The Cascadia High-Speed Rail Company project aims to provide a new, highly attractive intercity and commuter travel mode for the Pacific Northwest. The Cascadia HSR system would offer all the amenities of intercity high-speed rail, including modern stations with parking and fast, comfortable trains. Trains provide a much more comfortable travel experience than airplanes, buses, and automobiles. Trains will have a larger seating capacity with room to stretch, walk around, and access onboard food service, the bar/restaurant car, larger video screens, entertainment, and Wi-fi.
Passenger luggage will have much more storage space and be easier to load than narrow aisles and doorways in airplanes.
The CHSR system will be built to meet the highest safety and seismic standards set by federal and state governments. These standards are much higher than existing freight rail standards and ensure a much greater level of safety. For example, the Japanese high-speed railroads have used these standards without an accident since introducing their system in the1964. These standards will include advanced designs for tracks, tunnels, bridges, train sets, and signal and control systems.
The system will use the latest technology to ensure the highest performance and safety standards. The right-of-way will be a “sealed corridor” with no vehicle, pedestrian, or wildlife crossing accidents that are typical of the existing freight rail network and cause many train accidents.
The Pacific Northwest travel corridor is a highly constrained corridor running between two environmentally sensitive mountain ranges. At the same time, the growth of intercity transport for passengers and freight requires that transport facilities be expanded by over 50 percent for personal travel, over 100 percent for all freight, and 300 percent for express freight by 2050. The infrastructure needed for expanding the markets is not in place today. It cannot be provided through the existing modes of highway and air without significant environmental damage to the urban context and rural landscape associated with I-5 widening projects or extra airport runways. The Cascadia High-Speed Rail system offers the solution to these difficult problems.
CHSR can absorb a significant share of personal travel and express market growth. It can do this by:
1. using a narrow 50 ft right-of-way compared to the 200-500 ft right-of-way needed for highways.
2. sharing existing rights-of-way in both the I-5 highway corridor and freight rail rights-of-way (not tracks), thus avoiding many environmental issues and increasing transport capacity by providing the new HSR rail system and reducing travel volume congestion for both highways and airports.
3. tunneling and constructing flyovers to avoid surface constraints, particularly in urban areas, will provide fast access to city centers and reduce highway congestion.
4. offering a very effective train service that is efficient, frequent, and affordable compared to the airplane, bus, and auto/truck modes.
Brad Perkins, the President/CEO of Cascadia High Speed Rail, LLC, has helped design and advocate for this new and exciting transportation system since 2006. He has worked closely with technical rail corridor planning advisor Rudy Niederer to develop a high-speed intercity, commuter, and parcel freight rail corridor between Vancouver, BC, and Eugene, OR. Brad has spent considerable time influencing the direction of the newly designed CHSR corridor and transportation hub locations with local, state, and national leaders. Transportation Economic and Management Systems, Inc. (TEMS) has completed financial feasibility and other studies to prove CHSR’s economic viability. Ankrom Moisan Architects, Inc. has completed development scenarios for CHSR station and transportation hub locations in Portland, Vancouver, WA, Tacoma, and Seattle. All three companies have over 100 years of combined experience in high-speed rail design and use planning and economic feasibility studies for development projects.
The CHSR corridor will appeal to multiple users in the I-5 corridor, with a population of 8.5 million people. With e-commerce increasing product delivery by 15% per year, parcel delivery companies can help finance the corridor’s development and other CHSR projects. The combination of state and private financing can enable a stronger case for securing federal funding.
Thursday, September 30, 2021 – 10:30 AM PT
Transportation Economics & Management Systems, Inc. (TEMS) has completed a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the CHSR corridor.
For an executive summary of the EIS Tier 1 study final report, click here.
For the slide show from September 30 including a bonus video about the TGV France, click here.
The CHSR Study Team held a webinar on September 30, 2021, to engage with local leaders, businesses, stakeholder agencies, organizations, and the public to further explain the Tier 1 EIS study report.
For a recording of the September 30 webinar, click here.
To learn more about the CHSR Business Prospectus conducted in 2018, click here.