The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is envisioning a 250-mph “ultra-high speed ground transportation system” connecting Vancouver, B.C.; Seattle, Wash. and Portland, Ore., with Seattle-Vancouver and Seattle-Portland travel times reduced to one hour each. Engineering and professional services consultancy WSP will be preparing a business case analysis for what WSDOT describes as “an international, public-private partnership of WSDOT; the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT); the British Columbia Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology; and Microsoft Corp.”
The Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) on August 28, 2015 approved an updated set of rules for transporting hazardous materials by rail. Combined with Oregon Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) addition of four Federal Railroad Administration-certified rail inspectors, the rules “aim to improve the state’s ability to prevent incidents and respond to them if they occur,” OTC said.
Construction is under way on the first of three phases to upgrade the CORP (Central Oregon & Pacific) Siskiyou rail line; work will begin this spring and summer to reopen the 95-mile line between Ashland, Ore. and Weed, Calif. The 389-mile CORP is a Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary.