Transportation

Because being there is what's most important, WPC's Center for Transportation researches and analyzes the best practices for relieving traffic congestion by recapturing a vision of a system based on freedom of movement.

What's New

What exactly does "high-speed rail" mean?

February 1, 2010 in In the News
SeattlePI.com
Source: 
SeattlePI.com
Date: 
Monday, February 1, 2010

Not High Speed Rail: $590 million to help Seattle/Portland train be on time

January 28, 2010 in Blog

Washington to get $590 million for high-speed rail improvements

Only two-thirds of passenger trains run on time on the 3 ½-hour trip
between Seattle and Portland, and the state is trying to boost that
number to 90 percent.

Let's be more clear. This money is not to build a high-speed rail system between Portland and Seattle. This money is only to help Amtrak reach better on-time performance. And Amtrak trains are already highly subsidized, losing an average of $37 per passenger.

WPC completed a 30 page study on the government's supposed attempt to build HSR. Here are the key findings:

• Initial funding commits the nation to a program whose eventual costs could exceed $1 trillion. This doesn’t count overruns, operating subsidies, and rehabilitation costs.
• Outside of the Boston-to-Washington and Philadelphia-to-Harrisburg routes, Amtrak short distance trains lose an average of $37 per passenger and Amtrak expects the states to cover most of these operating losses.
• A hidden cost of rail is that it must be rebuilt about every 30 years.This means construction could />leave states obligated to fund billions of dollars in rehabilitation costs.
• The fact that American freight railroads are profitable while European passenger lines are not suggests that freight, not passenger, is the highest and best use of a modern railroad in most places.
• It is far more cost-effective to save energy by encouraging people to drive more fuel-efficient cars than to build and operate high-speed rail.
• Considering the energy required for rail construction, improvements in auto and airline energy efficiencies, and the high energy cost required to move trains at higher speeds, highspeed rail will have little to no environmental benefit.
• Upgrading the 280 rail miles in Washington to 110-mph standards would cost nearly $1 billion.
• The average Washingtonian will take a round trip on high-speed rail once every 8.5 years.
• For every Washingtonian who rides high-speed rail once a month, more than 100 Washington res!
idents will never ride it.

You can read th!
e full report here:
Why the U.S. and Washington Should Not Build High-Speed Rail

More info on $590 million for rail-improvement projects in Washington

January 28, 2010 in In the News
Bellingham Herald
Source: 
Bellingham Herald
Date: 
Thursday, January 28, 2010

The conservative case for high-speed rail

January 28, 2010 in In the News
Seattle Weekly
Source: 
Seattle Weekly
Date: 
Thursday, January 28, 2010

Second northbound Amtrak train is a waste of money

January 27, 2010 in In the News
Bellingham Herald
Source: 
Bellingham Herald
Date: 
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Second daily train to Vancouver, B.C., now averages 78 passengers per trip

January 27, 2010 in In the News
Bellingham Herald
Source: 
Bellingham Herald
Date: 
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Would High-Speed Rail Work in Seattle? (video)

January 27, 2010 in In the News
KIRO 7
Source: 
KIRO 7
Date: 
Wednesday, January 27, 2010