Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo today visited King Street Station in Seattle to celebrate the Pacific Northwest Passenger Rail Corridor construction project, which will help increase the station's capacity while transforming it into a modern transit hub.
Joined by Congressman Jim McDermott, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, and Washington State DOT Secretary Paula J. Hammond, Administrator Szabo toured the project, which received a portion of the U.S. Department of Transportation's $814 million investment for High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program (HSIPR) dedicated to the Pacific Northwest.
"We know that America will be home to 100 million additional people by the year 2050. That's the equivalent of another California, Texas, New York and Florida – combined," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Projects like this are part of President Obama's plan to rebuild America, put people back to work and ensure we have the safest, fastest, and most efficient transportation systems in the world."
The funds will pay for upgrades to one of the busiest intercity passenger rail corridors in the nation, which runs between Vancouver, BC, and Eugene, Ore. The upgrades are essential, as the number of roundtrips between Portland and Seattle is expected to increase by 50 percent in just five years.
"A world-class transportation network is the foundation of America's economic success," said Administrator Szabo. "These investments create American jobs, strengthen the regional economy, and produce a more efficient transportation system that is better for consumers and the environment."
Thanks to federal investments, the number of round trips will increase from four to six trips, trip times will be reduced, and passengers will experience fewer delays. Travelers heading north of Seattle will see improved on-time performance to Vancouver, BC, and federal investments in new trains will allow for more frequent service south of Portland to Oregon City, Salem and Eugene.