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Friday, March 16, 2012

Pacific Northwest Passenger Rail Corridor project celebrated

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Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo visited King Street Station in Seattle, Wash., 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 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.

The funds will pay for upgrades to one of the busiest intercity passenger rail corridors in the nation, which runs between Vancouver, BC, Canada 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.

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, Cananda and federal investments in new trains will allow for more frequent service south of Portland to Oregon City, Salem and Eugene.

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