Re: “One hour between Seattle and Portland? It’s possible” [Sept. 24, Opinion]:

How nice it would be to have high-speed rail. Five years back, while spending two weeks outside Florence, Italy, my wife and I decided to spend a couple of nights in Venice. We had the option of driving, a five-hour — if ideal — drive or taking the high-speed train for about $30 and getting there in two hours. We opted for the train — you can’t drive in Venice, anyway. Despite five other stops along the way, we got to Venice in two hours while traveling at speeds up to 300 kph (186 mph).

It would be great to visit Portland, Vancouver or any city in the states at high speed — avoiding another freeway slog and sightseeing along the way. Also, avoiding airline security. We should catch up to Europe’s faster trains. While we’re at it, let’s reroute the freight trains off the beaches here in Puget Sound.

Steve Grappo, Seattle