Lonely Planet Writer

Seven and a half hour train journey from Portland to Vancouver to be cut to two hours with a bullet train

While innovations in transport have helped us to travel to places faster, the possibility of a new bullet train taking us from Portland to Vancouver in under two hours is certainly tantalising.

A new bullet train could take you from Portland to Vancouver in under two hours. Image: dohitsch/500px

This trip currently takes about seven-and-a-half hours by train, but transit officials in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia are examining the feasibility of a high-speed train that would cut that down to a third. This initiative is an effort to decrease traffic and congestion, as the population in the three cities on the potential route –  it would go via Seattle – is predicted to be 11.2 million by 2040.

Fast Train
The new train will shave hours off travellers’ journeys. Image by GettyImages/narvikk

Travelling at over 250 miles per hour, the bullet train would take one hour to go from Portland to Seattle and another hour from Seattle to Vancouver. It is hoped that this high-speed rail connection would address an economic gulf in the region. On the travel front, visitors to Canada’s westernmost province will enjoy its mighty mountains, deep forests and dramatic coastlines.

Portland, Oregon, has an abundance of natural beauty. Image: David Gn/Getty Images

As Oregon’s largest city, Portland has all the cultural advantages of a major city but the feel and affordability of a small town. It has an abundance of natural beauty including perfect parks, leafy trees and vibrant shrubs lining pretty residential streets.

Fall in Vancouver, Canada. Image: Chia Wei Teoh/Lonely Planet

The three governments hope to work with private companies to set the groundwork for the bullet trains, and according to the Washington Department of Transportation, the project is estimated to cost from US$25 billion (€22 billion) to more than US$40 billion (€35 billion) to build. You’ll need to be patient though – it’s expected that the new ultra-high-speed trains might be launched by 2035.