This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.


After reading Ben’s excellent look at the Amtrak Cascades, it’s worth checking out the long-range plan he’s talking about, if you haven’t already.

“Timetable F” is the last of six phases that would be required to get the kind of service that would truly transform the region: 2.5 hours to either Portland or Vancouver, with 4 trains per day heading North and 13 heading South.

The total capital costs for the entire plan are estimated at $6.6B over 20 years. Not chump change, but not break-the-bank either: just $330M per year (in 2006 dollars). We can do it if we want. And it would be incredible for the region, a major step forward for a Cascadia that’s charting a different, more sustainable path from the rest of America.

The plan is there, waiting for the funding. And the funding looks more plausible than ever.

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