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Climate Change Poses a Huge Threat to Railroads. Environmental Engineers Have Ideas for How to Combat That

By Leah Campbell Photo: Ina Fassbender , Getty Images

Much of the world still relies heavily on railroads to move people and products. But railway infrastructure—from overhead wires to tracks—is at high risk from climate change and associated extreme weather.


How Electric Rail Could Be More Important Than Electric Cars

By Sergio Alberto Romero Photo: Eberhard Grossgasteiger , Unsplash

Electric cars are going to be important over the long term, that’s without a doubt. The fact is, no matter what industry or sector we’re talking about the less reliance we have on fossil fuels the better so I’m certainly not advising you to go out and buy another internal combustion engine vehicle because that’s simply not the right move anymore. However, I am suggesting that electrifying railways could be even more important than simply electrifying automobiles, let’s check out why that is!


Former SpaceX engineers bring autonomous, electric rail vehicle startup out of stealth

By Rebecca Bellan

Parallel Systems, a company founded by three former SpaceX engineers to build autonomous battery-electric rail vehicles, came out of stealth mode on Wednesday with a $49.55 million Series A raise. The company, which has raised $53.15 million to date, including a $3.6 million seed round, is working to create a more efficient, decarbonized freight network that flows on top of existing railway infrastructure.


The infrastructure package puts $66 billion into rail. It could power the biggest expansion in Amtrak’s 50-year history.

By Luz Lazo Photo: Lee Powell/The Washington Post

The funding would help rebuild the Northeast Corridor, but is also a path to bringing service to new cities and towns nationwide.


High-speed train to Las Vegas is hailed as an eco jackpot. But will it harm desert sheep?

By Louis Sahagún Photo: Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times

As daylight rose over the parched and jagged Soda Mountains recently, an emaciated-looking bighorn ewe and two gaunt lambs hoofed carefully over volcanic outcroppings as they searched hungrily for increasingly rare clumps of greenery. In this Mojave Desert landscape, severe drought and record-breaking heat are challenging the survival of bighorn sheep and other species and forcing them to search ever more widely for food and water.


Why rail transportation is gradually going to replace air travel

By Enrique Dans Photo: Zeleros

A good article and video on Euronews, “Paris to Berlin in an hour: welcome to the future of high-speed rail travel in Europe”, outlines the three key ideas for the future of decarbonized transportation in Europe by replacing flights with high-speed trains for passenger and freight transport.


Is the Hyperloop for Real?

By Lloyd Alter Photo: Teague , Virgin Hyperloop

Is the hyperloop for real? It’s a question we have been asking since Elon Musk first came up with the word. Not the concept—it’s been around since the 19th century. Nor did Musk have any intention of doing anything with it: To him, it was just his way to mess with the minds of supporters of high-speed rail in California.


Battery-powered trains could be a climate game changer. Is everyone all aboard?

By Ralph Vartabedian

Colossal freight locomotives are a fixture of the American landscape, but their 4,400-horsepower engines collectively burn 3.5 billion gallons of diesel annually, at a time when railroads and other fossil fuel users face pressure to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.


Railroads To Pour Cold Renewable Energy Water On Fossil Energy Stakeholders

By Tina Casey

There is no love lost between the notorious Koch brothers and the nation’s railroad industry, and the relationship is about to get a lot unlovelier. A massive new, first-of-its-kind renewable energy transmission line is taking shape in the Midwest, which will cut into the Koch family’s fossil energy business.


High-speed rail getting last minute push in Congress

By Karl Evers-hillstrom Photo: Greg Nash

High-speed rail is getting a last-minute push from lawmakers and lobbyists as Congress debates how to revamp the nation’s infrastructure.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last week advanced a $547 billion infrastructure bill that would provide $25 billion for high-speed rail projects. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee followed on Friday by introducing an accompanying bill with funding for similar projects.