High-speed rail between Vancouver and Seattle “high priority” for Washington and B.C. leaders

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In a meeting held Tuesday between Washington state Governor Jay Inslee and B.C. Premier John Horgan, several ways in which the neighbouring regions could work together in the coming months and years.

“Inslee’s visit marks the first official bilateral meeting hosted by Premier Horgan since taking office in July 2017,” notes Inslee’s official media report on the meeting.

Jay Inslee John Horgan
Inslee and Horgan, November 21 (Photo: Office of Gov. Jay Inslee)

While climate change action was the foremost subject on the table, the leaders discussed jobs and industry, specifically “their support for a modernized and progressive trade partnership” between B.C. and Washington.

However, what may excite many on either side of the Peace Arch crossing is that among the “high priorities” Horgan and Inslee covered is Vancouver-Seattle-Portland high-speed rail service.

Additionally, when it comes to moving people back and forth, the leaders also wish to pursue a Vancouver-Seattle seaplane service.

“Horgan and Inslee expressed confidence that the Government of Canada will allow the Vancouver-Seattle seaplane service project to proceed. The results of a feasibility study for the high-speed rail project is expected next month,” notes the meeting summary.

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high speed train
High-speed train/Pexels

The study was ordered earlier this year by Inslee, who told the media Tuesday he was “excited” about the prospect of putting in place a way to move people between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. in one hour rather than three.

In later remarks to the media, the Washington governor called himself “bullish” on the issue, though he acknowledges that funding the high-speed rail project–which is expected to cost billions–leaves many current questions left to answer.

Horgan, on the other hand, has pegged a major concern that literally could slow down any attempts to move people across the border faster: Canadian Border Services.

Without streamlining border crossing checks, Horgan says having the train stop for a long period of time to process passengers would defeat the purpose of a high-speed train.