A bullet train in Tokyo.
A bullet train in Tokyo. JIANGANG WANG/getty

British Columbia will contribute $300,000 to the latest study of a potential high-speed rail line connecting the Pacific Northwest's three biggest cities.

The Washington State Legislature recently directed $1.2 million in public and private funds toward a new "business case analysis" of high-speed rail connecting Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, British Columbia.

In a press conference with Washington Governor Jay Inslee Friday, British Columbia Premier John Horgan said B.C. will kick in another $300,000 toward the analysis. “It’s a first step and it’s a positive step," Horgan said.

Inslee called the project a sign of "mutual optimism...When you build a high speed rail line, you are building a monument to optimism." (Yeah, I don't know either.)

It's unclear if or when Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia may move from studying to planning or construction. The new analysis will build on a previous study that found the project could cost around $40 billion. Trains could run about 250 miles an hour, according to the governor's office.

Meanwhile in California, a high-speed rail project is now billions of dollars over budget and behind schedule. Asked about that, Inslee said, "Any mistake they’ve made, we’re going to put in the bank and learn from it."