On Wednesday, five regional planning agencies throughout the Rocky and Intermountain West formally announced the formation of the Western High-Speed Rail Alliance (WHSRA), which will work to support the creation of a high-speed rail system in the Western United States.
"The members of the Western High-Speed Rail Alliance share a vision of high-speed rail that provides efficient, cost-effective options for both passenger and freight customers," said Jacob Snow, chairman for the WHSRA. "We believe implementation of a regional high-speed rail plan for the Rocky and Intermountain West is critical to the development of a national high-speed rail system. Corridors must be studied now to lay the groundwork for additional development."
Included in the alliance are the following planning agencies: The Denver Regional Council of Governments (the greater Denver area), the Maricopa Association of Governments (the greater Phoenix Area), Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (Las Vegas), the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (Reno, Nev.), and the Utah Transit Authority (Salt Lake City).
The WHSRA is prepared to request $50 million from the reauthorization of the Surface Transportation Act that Congress is expected to consider next year.
Included in a national plan The Western High-Speed Rail Alliance envisions a Denver to Los Angeles corridor via a high-speed rail network with regional "hubs" in Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Denver and Phoenix as well as linkages from Denver to Salt Lake City to Reno and ultimately connection to San Francisco.
The WHSRA hopes to add both public and private sector members to their alliance in order to assist in developing future corridors that will be built over the next 20 years.