Microsoft to host “Cascadia Rail Summit” to promote a Portland-Seattle-Vancouver, B.C. high speed train

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Microsoft is hosting a summit with various business, transportation, and government leaders to build a high-speed railway connecting Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver B.C. with a high-speed train system. The rail line would allow individuals to travel from Seattle to Vancouver B.C. in less than an hour (via GeekWire).

Microsoft has already put in almost $574k into research on determining the feasibility of such a rail system connecting these areas, including consumer demand and market viability. However the high-speed line is estimated to cost between $24 billion and $42 billion, according to officials at the Washington State Department of Transportation, and could be capable of generating between $160 million and $250 million per year. The WSDT also estimates $355 billion in economic growth in the region should the rail line be built.

“This Summit will build on those studies, create momentum for the project, and begin the important planning, financing and governance work to bring it to reality,” according to the Cascade Rail Summit website. It will take place November 6 to 8 at Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters and will include speakers such as the company’s government affairs director Irene Plenefisch, former Washington Governor Christine Gregoire, Washington Department of Transportation Secretary Roger Miller, and others.

What do you think about a new high-speed train system connecting Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver B.C.? Share your thoughts in the comments area below.