Topic

Cascadia

High Speed Rail Can Transform Cascadia

High speed rail and improved inter-city freight rail infrastructure can better unite the Cascadia region, from British Columbia to Oregon - while reducing highway congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, and boosting the economy and tourism. We'll highlight the transformational possibilities at the Cascadia Rail Partnership Conference, May 27-29 in Seattle and Portland. Don't miss it.

North American rail is at center stage on the transportation agenda. Eight billion dollars in U.S. stimulus money is kicking off a new series of improvements to the nation's rail systems. Beneficiaries could include the Amtrak Cascades passenger rail line which runs from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, and north to Vancouver, B.C.

Since 1994, Washington, Oregon, the federal government, regional agencies and railroads have made capital and operating investments of about $1 billion in the Amtrak Cascades line. Now - with President Obama prioritizing high speed rail - is the time to build on that investment. The visioning that precedes the hard work of securing full funding for passenger and freight rail improvements has begun anew. Vancouver Sun economic affairs columnist Miro Cernetig writes that the opportunity should be seized to strengthen U.S.-Canada links via improved Northwest rail service.

Additional information:

"Ottawa's Lack Of Vision May Derail Our High-Speed Rail Dreams," Vancouver Sun, 5/18/09

"Tourism Leaders Steaming Over Train Holdup," The Province, 5/15/09

"High Speed Rail: Region Should Climb Aboard," Everett Herald, 5/15/09

"Is Cascadia's Train Coming In?" Crosscut, 5/12/09

"
Hope For High Speed Rail On the West Coast," McClatchy News/Tacoma News Tribune, 5/10/09

"Planes, Trains, And...Two Vital Projects To Relieve Air Traffic Congestion," Washington Post editorial, 5/6/09

"Megaregions And High Speed Rail," Richard Florida, Creative Class Exchange blog, The Atlantic, 5/4/09

"Mayor Backs Plan For High Speed Rail From Oregon To B.C.," The Province, 4/26/09

"Next Stop: A Faster Train From Seattle To Portland," Tacoma News Tribune, 4/21/09

"Obama's Rail Plan Not So High Speed," The Oregonian, 4/21/09

"Spain's Bullet Train Changes Nation, And Fast," Wall Street Journal, 4/20/09

"Rail Advocates Laud Federal Announcement," Seattle PI.com, 4/16/09

"High Speed Rail Gets $8 Billion Boost; Northwest Could Benefit," Associated Press/Seattle Times, 4/16/09

Rail articles archive, Cascadia Prospectus blog, 2007-2009

"Vision For High Speed Rail In America: Strategic Investment Plan," Federal Railway Administration, USDOT, 4/09

Amtrak Cascades Long Range Plan, Washington State Department Of Transportation, 2006

Statewide Rail Capacity and System Needs Study," Washington State Transportation Commission, 2006

(More)

Read More ›

Shai Agassi “Beyond Oil” Video

Technologist Shai Agassi wowed some 500 participants at the recent “Beyond Oil” conference at Microsoft’s Conference Center, organized by the Cascadia Center of Discovery Institute. Not only are the ideas compelling, so too is the business plan and the apparent fact that Agassi seems to have a whole nation committed as a pilot project. Anyone with an interest in energy Read More ›

Cascadia: Naive Dream Or The Next Frontier?

This article, published by the Vancouver Sun, mentions Discovery Institute Fellow Bruce Agnew: Bruce Agnew, energetic head of the Discovery Institute’s Cascadia Center, finds British-rooted names such as the Strait of Georgia and Puget Sound quite silly. The rest of the article can be found here.

Dream Of A Cohesive Cascadia Never Dies

This article, published by the Vancouver Sun, mentions Discovery Institute Fellow Bruce Agnew: Increasingly, the politicians of Cascadia are trying to cooperate, particularly on transportation and ecological issues and occasionally economic ones, says Bruce Agnew, policy director for Seattle’s influential Cascadia Center. The rest of the article can be found here.

Sims To Port: No Deal If Rails Stay

This article, published by The Seattle Times, mentions the Cascadia Center of Discovery Institute: Citizens groups and the think tank Cascadia Center at Discovery Institute have stepped up their campaign to put diesel passenger trains on the rail line that parallels Interstate 405. The rest of the article can be found here.

Cascadia-Microsoft Conference Speaker Shares In Nobel Prize

Phil Mote, one of the authors of the Nobel prize winning report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – and featured in the Oct. 13, Seattle Times story reproduced below – was one of the panel members and speakers at the May 7th Cascadia/Microsoft “Jump Start To A Secure, Clean Energy Future” Conference. The conference centered on transportation Read More ›

Fans Of Plug-in Cars Build Their Power Base

Sometime in the future, your car may make your round-trip commute with electricity generated from rooftop solar cells. When you want to venture east of the Cascades for a weekend winery tour, an internal-combustion engine — powered by biofuels — would kick into action. This vision has helped propel plug-in hybrid cars from a footnote in automotive technology into a serious alternative that car manufacturers are working to bring to market within the next five to 10 years. Meanwhile, a grass-roots network of plug-in converts — professors, students, garage mechanics and others — is already fashioning the first generation of these vehicles in hopes of prodding the industry into faster action. They say these cars can get more than 100 miles per gallon for some travel. Read More ›

Visions Of A Northwest Hybrid Car Future Abound

Imagine at first hundreds of Northwesterners -- but later thousands, and ultimately tens of thousands or even millions -- plugging in their electric hybrid cars every night. Then they all commute the next day without dipping into their fuel tanks. Imagine that the other cars on the road, still using fuel systems more like today's, get around on the byproducts of cow poop or wheat stubble. Imagine further that this new fleet of cars carries devices to signal the traffic-light system, reducing congestion by half at rush hour. And imagine these same devices prevent cars from running into one another no matter what their idiot drivers do. The same devices could offer drivers a choice between the fastest route, the cheapest route (because many roads will have tolls) and the "greenest" route. These were some of the visions that emerged Monday at a broad-ranging conference of Seattle-area businesspeople, utility executives, public officials, environmentalists and others titled "Jump Start to a Secure, Clean Energy Future" at Microsoft Corp.'s Redmond campus. Read More ›

Cascadia: More Than A Dream

This article, published by the Vancouver Sun, provides an in-depth look at the Cascadia region, and quotes Bruce Agnew, Co-director of Discovery Institute’s Cascadia Center For Regional Development: I think at long last the idea of Cascadia is beginning to get some real traction,” said Bruce Agnew, who heads the Cascadia Center For Regional Development, a Seattle-based think-tank that counts Read More ›