Tracking Solutionary Rail Progress

Help us publish the Solutionary Rail book, educational poster, and build a grassroots alliance powerful enough to make Solutionary Rail a reality. 

For the past three years, Backbone Campaign has been building a "Yes" campaign called Solutionary Rail.

When protestors are locking down to the tracks, petitioning their government or occupying the offices of BNSF saying "No!" to oil trains or coal trains or other fossil fuel infrastructure, we believe it is important for them to also have something to which they can proclaim an enthusiastic "Yes!"

Our opposition is strongest when coupled with a proposition. This is particularly true when it comes to rail. Railroads and trains are a potentially powerful piece of a sustainable transport, energy and economic infrastructure.

Our Solutionary Rail project provides that "Yes!" by proposing a pilot project for US rail electrification. It proposes starting with what is referred to as the "Northern Transcon," i.e. the stretch from Seattle to Chicago of approximately 2200 miles.

Your contribution will help make this Project Possible!

  • 2014 entailed a lot of meetings and compiling data and analysis and finally launching a website.
  • 2015 was a big year for bringing Solutionary Rail to allies and bridging an imaginary divide between labor and environmental causes.
    • We held a technical symposium in DC last February with our Solutionary Rail Technical Team, co-sponsored by the Institute for Policy Studies
    • Backbone and our railroad labor allies Railroad Workers United (RWU) co-produced two conferences. The theme of these events was The Future of Rail - Safety, Workers, Communities and the Environment. Over one hundred activists working across a variety of movements attended each event, one in Richmond, CA and a second in Olympia, WA. Refinery workers provided the keynote at each event, speaking to our common cause and the need for a people-powered just transition off of fossil fuels.
    • The SR got a deeply flawed Booz Allan Hamilton study removed from the Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) site, protecting the future of US rail electrification.  Article and more summary HERE
  • In 2016, we will be publishing a book outlining the proposal. That book will be an essential educational and alliance building tool as we send delegations to communities along the route to build an unstoppable alliance, educate elected officials, civil servants, and corporate decision makers.

    THANK YOU for Helping Make this Project Possible!

    We hope you enjoy learning more about Solutionary Rail at the project page  and helping us spread the word about this powerful, alliance building proposal.