Solutionary Perspectives - An interview series hosted by Bill Moyer and Diane Wittner, examining the perspectives of Solutionary Rail allies and stakeholders.

Just Transmission: An Electron Superhighway for 80% Renewables by 2030

In 2020, we had a great conversation with three deeply experienced panelists, Alexander (Sandy) MacDonald, Jim Hoecker and Cris Stainbrook. They address the constraints on renewable energy development and the potential of additional transmission to unlock that development and get us to 80% renewables by 2030. We'll also look at the justice opportunities and challenges of that expanded use of railroad rights of way, specifically in regards to tribes - and what that means in terms of solidarity and public private partnerships.  

Bio, links and additional information HERE

Rosalia to Pasco Shortline Access Rail Corridor

Watch Solutionary Rail Lead, Bill Moyer's presentation of our latest research and proposal for rail transportation resilience in the Lower Snake River region:

Bio, links and additional information HERE

Senate Hearing on Railyard Electrification

Expressions of Solidarity: UE's Call for Public Ownership of Railroads & Environmental Justice Perspectives

[A Spanish language version of this video is HERE]

Bio, links and additional information HERE

Expresiones de solidaridad: Transformando ferrocarriles a propiedad publica  y perspectivas de comunidades de justicia ambiental

"Nuestra nación ya no puede permitirse la propiedad privada de los ferrocarriles; el bienestar general exige que sean puestos bajo propiedad pública." ~ DECLARACIÓN DE LA JUNTA EJECUTIVA GENERAL DE LA UE (30 de Enero, 2023)

Bio, links and additional information HERE

Why WSDOT ought to embrace the Amtrak Cascades Long Range Plan

Interview with Rail Expert Tom White

In Washington State, the climate imperative and transportation justice demand that policymakers favor trains - not more lanes or planes! Solutionary Rail campaign lead Bill Moyer interviewed one of the co-authors of the Amtrak Cascades Long Range Plan, discussing where we are today and next steps we need the Legislature and WSDOT to take.

“I see absolutely no reason whatsoever to study a 'range of alternatives.' Our mission in 1992 was to develop a service to get the maximum number of people off of highways onto a train. It was not a small, a medium and a large plan or anything like that. It was, “We’ve got all these people on this highway. You figure out to how get 'em off.” That should be the mission right now. And it isn’t.” ~ Thomas White rail expert and co-author of the Amtrak Cascades Long Range Plan.

Bio, links and additional information HERE

Rail in the Public Interest: Updates on LSR Barge to Rail and Railroad Worker Solidarity

Solutionary Rail welcomed back our allies with Railroad Workers United to talk about their recently passed Resolution in Support of Public Ownership of US RailroadsWe also got a short update on the LSR Barge to Rail work Solutionary Rail is doing in the Pacific Northwest and heard reports from the SR Hive. 



Bio, links and additional information HERE

US Railroad Strike: What's at Stake, How We Got Here & Why NOW is the time for Solidarity (featuring RWU)

This pre-strike discussion with railroad workers examines the history of US railroads, railroad labor, the impacts of deregulation and an industry unconstrained in its obsession with increasing short term profits, without accountability to its workers, the public or its own future. Railroad workers share their stories about declining morale, punitive work environments, with inhumane conditions that endanger workers, communities and the environment.
Railroad workers may opt to go on strike at any time on or after September 16th, when the latest "cooling off" period proscribed by the Railway Labor Act expires.
Solutionary Rail convened a call with railroad workers Ron Kaminkow and Michael Paul Lindsey to learn more about the impossible working conditions they have to wrestle with, and how we can be in solidarity with them. 

Please sign the letter of Solidarity at
Bio, links and additional information HERE

Planning for Resilience in the Snake River Region

Solutionary Rail presented an update of our research on how mode shift from barge to rail can happen quickly and a more resilient system built before, during and after the Lower Snake River dams are breached. 

Bio, links and additional information HERE

Rail Alternatives to Snake River Barging

This presentation, June 30, 2022, discussed the capacity of the Snake River system to mode shift grain off of barges and onto trains.

Check out our UPDATED LSR Barge2Rail slidedeck HERE. It provides a lot of useful information and maps to support our policy recommendations/action steps

Watch our newest presentation on Solutionary Rail's work on barge to rail mode shift at:

Don't miss our Action Steps document. View or download the PDF of Planning for Resilience - Action Steps HERE.

Bio, links and additional information HERE

Robert Heacock on the Lower Snake River Dams & the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Snake River dam removal/breaching is being discussed by policymakers, with a plan for restoring the salmon expected to come out in July.  Robert's presentation will discuss the pros and cons of the dams, dam removals on other rivers, transportation alternatives to barging, and the impact of the dams on both salmon and the seven campsites of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of October, 1805. On March 24, 2022 Robert shared a unique perspective on the past, present and potential future of the Snake River.  Watch the video HERE.

Bio, links and additional information HERE

Clyde Anderson


Clyde Anderson of Omaha, Nebraska talks about his career as a civil engineer and transportation planner in the railroad industry, involved in several railroad mergers in the Midwest and guiding the efficient functioning of rail terminal operations.  Before and since retirement, Clyde has been engaged in community, transportation and environmental activism, including with the Sierra Club, ProRail Nebraska and Mode Shift Omaha.  
Bio, links and additional information HERE

The Leadership & Legacy of A. Philip Randolph, a Conversation with Gabriel Prawl & Clarence Thomas

"PSR - Can We Please Be Honest Here?"


Bio, links and additional information HERE

History of Amtrak

US Rail History Part 2:
Amtrak - its Formation, Present and Future

Presentation by Steve Chrismer, P.E. PhD (Amtrak - retired)

US Rail History Part 1: Land Grant Railroads

The Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority with Dave Strohmaier

Check out our conversation with Dave Strohmaier, Chair of the Missoula Board of County Commissioners and Chairman of the Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority (BSPRA)

Bio, links and additional information HERE

Solutionary Rail Briefing April 30, 2021

Solutionary Rail's approach to decarbonization: opportunities, obstacles, and pathways forward


Bio, links and additional information HERE

Electric Vehicles, Smart Growth, Environmental Justice & Avoiding Eco-Colonialism

Electric Vehicles are touted as a key component to solving our climate crisis. Many consumers are jumping on the EV bandwagon, and companies like Amazon are building a fleet to ship goods by electric truck. Likewise, national environmental organizations are pushing EVs as key to lowering GHG emissions and transitioning to a green economy. So are we and many of our allies.

This is all understandable, but are EVs a real climate solution in and of themselves?

Bio, links and additional information HERE

Plans Are For Action - Michael Sussman on the 2021 Nevada State Rail Plan

Solutionary Rail is thrilled to present this conversation on the recently completed Nevada State Rail Plan, featuring with Michael Sussman of Strategic Rail Finance & OnTrackNorthAmerica. 

State Rail Plans must be reworked every 4 years. The 2021 Nevada State Rail Plan raises the bar for state rail plans across the country. Utilize this conversation as a guide in your advocacy for meaningful rail plans that set the stage for concrete actions that leverage rail transport for the public interest. 

Listen and learn from Michael and the great questions from many Solutionary Rail advocates across the country. 

Bio, links and additional information HERE

Kansas DOT's Win-Win Support of Short Line Railroads

John Maddox has been working for over two decades to help short line railroads continue to provide competitive transportation options to farmers in Kansas. Meanwhile, the Kansas DOT program saves taxpayer dollars from unnecessary road wear and tear, improving road safety and reducing diesel emissions. 

This is a win-win program with strong bi-partisan support! 
Hear from John about how this work has been accomplished, the benefit cost analysis Kansas does, and how other state and short line railroads might learn from their effort. He presented on AASHTO and TRB webinars in the past year, and we were so impressed that we invited him to share the story Kansas has to tell, for the benefit of us all. 
Bio, links and additional information HERE

Robert Colón on Solutionary Rail and Harmonizing Urban & Rural Landscapes in Florida

Available on Facebook HERE

Solutionary Rail hosts a presentation by Robert Colón, a landscape architect, titled: "Ranches to Railways: An Adaptive Framework for Protecting Florida’s Heritage Landscapes in the Anthropocene."

Bio, links and additional information HERE

Carlo Borghini on European Shift2Rail for Freight Transport in the Public Interest

Watch and listen to our conversation with Carlo Borghini, (bio) Executive Director of the European Union's Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking

Shift2Rail is the first European rail initiative to seek focused research and innovation (R&I) and market-driven solutions by accelerating the integration of new and advanced technologies into innovative rail product solutions. Shift2Rail promotes the competitiveness of the European rail industry and meets changing EU transport needs. R&I carried out under this Horizon 2020 initiative develops the necessary technology to complete the Single European Railway Area (SERA). 

Moreover, Shift2Rail has ambitious targets and a robust framework in which to meet them. Specifically, the initiative aims to double the capacity of the European rail system and increase its reliability and service quality by 50%, all while halving life-cycle costs.

Bio, links and additional information HERE

Rural Resilience, Regeneration and Rail in Iowa, a conversation with Seth Watkins & Jeff Kurtz


Seth Watkins (biois a a fourth generation farmer. He stewards the Pinhook Farms cow-calf and crop operation in Clarinda, Iowa. I first heard Seth Watkins speak while lurking on an Iowa Farmers Union Facebook livestream. I was so deeply impressed that I immediately reached out to see if he'd be willing to have a conversation with the Solutionary Rail team and engage in a conversation about rural resilience, regenerative agriculture and the potential for rail infrastructure to bolster and revive rural communities.

Bio, links and additional information HERE

#Grounded: A Conversation with Winona LaDuke and Bill McKibben on Decarbonization, Localization & Just Transition

Localization of economies, democracy and resilience requires that we be/get "Grounded" -  reconnected to place, planet and each other. In the old "normal" it was difficult to imagine stopping air travel. Today, it is much easier to imagine. The climate, planet and creatures need the new normal to look dramatically different from the old normal. NOW is our moment of opportunity.

The Backbone Campaign Team and allies held a 1 hour conversation with Winona LaDuke and Bill McKibben on this CoViD-19 moment and its relevance for decarbonization, localization, and system transformation. Check it out! Then take action to #ReMakeTheWorld and let's get #Grounded.

Bio, links and additional information HERE

Local Living Economies for Community Resilience - a Conversation with Judy Wicks.

Judy Wicks is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, speaker and mentor working to build a more compassionate, environmentally sustainable, and locally-based economy.

A recent interview with Judy on resilient regional economies during these time of pandemic is HERE.

Founder of Philadelphia’s landmark White Dog Cafe, Ms. Wicks is author of Good Morning Beautiful Business and her current projects include: All Together Now PA  Circle of Aunts and Uncles and Proud Pennsylvania.


Bio, links and additional information HERE

Solutionary Perspectives: A Conversation with NASA Climate Scientist Nathan Kurtz, Ph. D.

Solutionary Perspectives: Rural Communities & Rural Organizing

Solutionary Perspectives: Environmental Justice - Freight Impacts on Workers & Communities

Lac Megantic Rail Disaster and Solutionary Rail

Trains, Barges & Agricultural Transport Economics - Conversation with Dr. Ken Casavant

Solutionary Perspectives - Liz Veazey on the potential of bringing renewable energy to rural electric cooperatives

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