On Monday, a new advocacy group called Cascadia Rail launched with the goal of building a high-speed rail that would connect Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Spokane and Vancouver, B.C.
The only thing missing from the group's case? A price tag.
But an analysis conducted by the Washington Department of Transportation reveals that a seven-stop, high-speed rail between Portland and Vancouver would require roughly nine years and $40 billion to build, the Vancouver Sun first reported.
The analysis is based on the assumption that advanced maglev technology—in which the train is lifted off the tracks via magnets, moving at speeds of more than 400 kilometers an hour—would be used.
The ultra-high-speed train would cut down the commute from Portland to Vancouver to one hour.
The study notes the many employment opportunities that construction of a high-speed rail would create. But it does not list any specific funding options for the lofty undertaking.
Instead, it posits "the potential eligibility of the project to access specific U.S. Department of Transportation grant and loan programs, federal funding mechanisms, and infrastructure development programs such as the proposed Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB)."
Gord Lovegrove, associate professor at University of B.C. Okanagan's School of Engineering, also told the Vancouver Sun that because the analysis is based on the assumption that if cutting-edge technology is used, construction could take even longer and be more expensive than projected.
"With transportation planning at the best of times, your [margin of] error can be huge," Lovegrove said.
In order for the potential high-speed rail to become reality, the study concludes, next steps must include an evaluation of funding sources and creation of a business case for the project.