Thank you for your interest in Solutionary Rail.
We strive to help you deliver a compelling message for vibrant modernized railroad infrastructure that moves people and goods safely, rapidly, and reliably. A just transition to a decarbonized energy and transportation infrastructure cannot occur without leveraging the efficiencies of our treasured rail infrastructure and rights of way.
Our next step is to help you organize briefings to elevate the dialog from divisive rhetoric to a transpartisan exploration of common sense solutions. Our growing roster of experts and stakeholders is online HERE, along with co-authors and book blurbs HERE.
PLEASE contact us to in order to work with your office or committee to build the panels of experts and stakeholders you need to craft excellent public policy.
Bill Moyer, Solutionary Rail campaign lead
Email: [email protected]
General inquiries may also be sent to [email protected]
Here are some shortcuts to resources we hope you will utilize.
Video, Book, and Brief:
- The very first tool we hope you will utilize is the 3.5 minute Solutionary Rail introductory video, available HERE.
- We also invite you to broadly share the coupon code "4WRD2GTHR" for free PDF of the Solutionary Rail book HERE.
- The Pertinent Facts & False Solutions brief is a short and useful resources for clarifying priorities in regards to vehicle electrification and categories of High Speed Rail. Access HERE
- Solutionary Rail FAQ page HERE
PowerPoint & Slides for Custom Presentations:
- Solutionary Rail PowerPoint presentation is available for use and download HERE
- Flickr album of slides for custom presentations is HERE. If you need a graph, image from the book, or other supplemental material please contact us and we will strive to provide that to you.
- Stakeholder Interview Series - Solutionary Perspectives HERE
Case Studies & Pilot Project Proposals: (These resources are still in development):
- Washington State
a. Corridor proposal for Puget Sound to Central-Eastern Washington state by Tom White (Read and download HERE.)
b. Grays Harbor electrification and high voltage transmission on the PS&P (Proposed RFP)
- California - via Californians For Electric Rail (http://calelectricrail.org/)
a. The Potential of Electric Freight Rail in Southern California (Read and download HERE)
b. Southern California Freight Railroad Lines and Renewable Energy Transmission (Read and download HERE)
- Southern Transcon Phase I, Texico to Long Beach by Alan Drake (Coming soon.)
- New York/New Jersey:
Hunts Point Market decarbonization (Proposed RFP)
Additional Materials & Resources:
- Tribal Wind - Appeal for investment by 29 Tribes (Read and download HERE).
Diesel Impacts on Public Health
b. Getting to Zero - Moving Forward Network Policy Brief HERE
c. Living Near Diesel Exhaust InfoGraphic (2 page PDF) HERE.
Matthew Rose of BNFS exit interview "Less Is Not Better" on the state of freight rail in the US and its potential futures, critique of "Precision Scheduled Railroading" Read here.
More on PSR (Potential for antitrust action for these common carriers):
- Beware the operating ratio trap, by Frank Wilner of RailwayAge provides a critique of Precision Scheduled Railroading's obsession with lowering operating ratio. Read here.
- Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) National President Dennis Pierce's guest editorial in Railway Age on Precision Scheduled Railroading as a manifestation of "vulture capitalism." Read here.
- Effect of fatigue on railroad worker health and safety PowerPoint HERE. This issue is also referred to in above article (2nd bullet of #3)
Who benefits from Solutionary Rail?
What Solutionary Rail looks like?
Rail electrification would enhance health and quality of life in major cities and across America. Diesel exhaust poses health threats, and disproportionately affects people of color and the poor who tend to live near yards and lines. Electrification eliminates diesel emissions, reducing health impacts and associated costs. Electrification also cuts noise pollution, reducing stress for people living near lines.
Unique among heavy, long-haul transport modes, railroads can run on electricity, and do so in much of the world. The fixed infrastructure of rail lines enables delivery of power by wires. This opens the door to employing clean, renewable electricity. Railroad corridors could also serve as electricity superhighways transmitting wind and solar energy from remote rural areas to metropolitan markets.
Communities along the Northern Corridor would be among the greatest beneficiaries of an electrification initiative. Economic development opportunities would expand with improved freight and passenger service. Smaller, trackside communities that have lost rail service could see it restored. Express service from hubs in farm regions would provide new options for agricultural commodities that must move to market quickly such as fruits and vegetables.
A key element of Solutionary Rail is moving a significant portion of freight from trucks to rail. Strategic reinvestment to increase rail speed and reliability will help recapture the market for rapid delivery of high-value mixed freight. Because rail uses energy more efficiently and can run on renewable electricity, a transportation strategy that aims at deep pollution reductions will seek to divert freight to rail where possible.
The Solutionary Rail strategy proposes a Public-Private Partnership to electrify approximately 4,400 Northern Corridor track miles. Because of these substantial public benefits to be realized by modernizing and electrifying major rail corridors, it makes sense for the public to partner with private railroads to make the improvements financially feasible. The foundation of the effort is the establishment of a Northern Corridor Steel Interstate Development Authority by states along the corridor. It would be chartered with the authority to raise funds for electrified rail infrastructure investment along the line.
Rail can offer a major transportation option that is powered by clean, renewable energy, ensuring jobs for rail workers and creating new clean energy jobs for displaced fossil fuel industry workers. Labor must take an active role in new partnerships to electrify and modernize rail. With this should come a new commitment to a fair deal for labor.
Successful electrification and modernization on a major US rail line will demonstrate success and create competitive pressure that spurs adoption throughout the industry. Solutionary Rail has identified the BNSF Northern Transcon from Seattle to Chicago and major Northern Corridor branch lines as ideal candidates for such a demonstration. The corridor is among the world’s most important rail shipping routes, a key and sometimes capacity-constrained link to Asia transporting containers and agricultural products. Lines run through mountains and face challenging weather conditions. Northern Corridor electrification represents a robust proof of concept for electrifying lines across the nation.