Legislators and policymakers have a lot of information to sort through -- we hope our “RailBites” will help you gather essential information about modernizing and electrifying our transportation infrastructure. Please use us as a resource! Contact info@solutionaryrail.org or 206-408-8058.

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RailBite #6: Public-Private Partnerships for an Electrified Railroad

Solutionary Rail proposes public-private partnerships to make this national railroad electrification and energy transmission project a reality.SIDA.jpg

Infrastructure owned, maintained, or improved by the railroad companies would continue to be owned by them. New electrification infrastructure – like the two sets of high voltage power lines and any other part of the project paid for with public dollars -- would be publicly owned.

Solutionary Rail proposes the creation of a tax-exempt, not-for-profit entity called the Steel Interstate Development Authority, or SIDA. SIDA would raise funds from private markets and federal loan funds as provided by the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA), issuing tax-exempt bonds to fund the entire project, negotiating rights of way, and overseeing construction and operations.

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RailBite #5: SR Means Deep Cuts to Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Solutionary Rail - Deep Cuts to Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Finding solutions in the face of climate change is one of our fundamental motivations.

Transportation accounts for 30% of United States greenhouse gas emissions. If we electrify our transportation using renewables, we can cut this deeply – especially if electrifying the railroads is prioritized.

  • Steel wheels rolling on steel rails require 1/3 the energy of rubber tires on pavement – trains are much more energy-efficient than trucks and cars, regardless of the fuel source.
  • The railroad – freed from diesel – could be powered by renewable electricity via overhead power lines, with very low life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions.
  • As a bonus, additional power lines can be installed above the ones powering locomotives, with the sole purpose of transmitting renewable electricity from the rural areas where it’s produced to towns and cities where it’s needed.

 

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RailBite #4: SR is Good for Workers and Unions

Solutionary Rail: Good for Workers and Unions

The Solutionary Rail concept would prove highly beneficial for working and retired railroad workers. In contrast to the current operating plan the major rail carriers have embraced, Solutionary Rail holds out the promise of:

  • more jobs in both passenger rail and freight rail, not fewer
  • more rail infrastructure, not less
  • good, family-wage, secure union jobs
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RailBite #3: "Higher" Speed Rail

Rail Electrification Options: Why Solutionary Rail recommends starting with “Higher” Speed Rail

Currently, the buzzword for rail travel is “High Speed Rail.” The term is being used broadly, but what does it mean? Brightline in Florida is being called “high speed,” even though it travels at just 79 mph. So what is High Speed Rail and what are our best options? What about freight transportation – should the bulk of freight continue to be carried by trucks?

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RailBite #2: Solutionary Rail Prioritizes Safe & Humane Railroad Working Conditions

The Solutionary Rail concept would prove highly beneficial for working and retired railroad workers. In contrast to the current operating plan the major rail carriers have embraced, Solutionary Rail holds out the promise of:

  • regular schedules
  • a safer and healthier work environment
  • a secure Railroad Retirement system.

 

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Why Electrify: RailBite #1

Welcome to “Railbite” #1 from Solutionary Rail, a plan for electrifying America’s railroads and opening up the rail corridors for green-energy transmission!

Solutionary Rail is a plan to:

  1. Electrify the nation’s rail corridors by modernizing existing track infrastructure
  2. Power those corridors with distributed renewable energy (wind & solar) 
  3. Use modernized rail corridors to bring clean energy to the rest of the country

Let’s talk about #1 – Why is electrifying the railroad crucial for building a cleaner, zero-carbon transportation infrastructure? 

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