Solutionary Rail: A People-Powered Campaign to Electrify America's Railroads

A new book is out which lays the groundwork for how we can bring electrified, higher-speed rail to the United States.

In their new book titled Solutionary Rail: A people-powered campaign to electrify America’s railroads and open corridors to a clean energy future, Bill Moyer, Patrick Mazza, and the Solutionary Rail team, show how electrifying our railroads can deliver jobs and renewed prosperity to rural and urban communities alike.

Author and activist, Bill Mckibben who wrote the forward for the book, says, "Rail electrification, as proposed in this remarkable book, is that rarest of things: a genuinely new idea, and one that makes immediate gut sense.”

Such service can draw significant portions of freight and passenger business lost to highways and aviation back to the tracks. Increased speeds, of up to 120mph, will revitalize rural communities along the tracks: Farmers will be able to ship their crops to market in a timely manner, public health problems caused by diesel exhaust will be greatly reduced and (eventually) coal dust will be eliminated in rural and urban communities alike.

The electrification infrastructure above the tracks will pass through diverse weather systems and countless rural power cooperatives, municipal and tribal utility service areas. High voltage transmission lines above those used for the trains will transport renewable energy from rural production sources to large urban markets, giving rural communities the opportunity to profit from currently untapped resources.

This proposal appears to be a win for nearly everyone, especially for rural communities, tribes, railroad workers and urban neighborhoods impacted by diesel from trucks, ships and trains. Check out the book at your local independent book store or online at

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