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Really.  America's next high-speed railroad has to start somewhere.  It might as well start here with you backing this project.
Really. America's next high-speed railroad has to start somewhere. It might as well start here with you backing this project.
54 backers pledged $5,222 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$5,222

54

You're absolutely right! $3,000 will not build a high-speed railroad, but it will start the wheels turning. Every construction project - rail or otherwise - begins with a plan. If our goal is to build a HSR line to connect Pittsburgh to Erie and beyond, then we need to start with a plan - in this case, a route study - to tell us which of the many possible routes is the best one for HSR. It will also tell us how many people will use it, what it will cost and how fast the trains will be able to travel. We will use the route study to rally support for the next phases of the project - feasibility and environmental impact studies, followed by engineering, financing and finally, construction. But it has to start somewhere, and that somewhere is this Kickstarter campaign.

In the 19th Century, America built the nationwide railroad network we enjoy today. When the Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869 it transformed a nation. It was built by thousands of immigrant laborers from places like Ireland and China - many of whom died while working in dangerous conditions. They had a vision of making their lives - and America - better. While the age of railroad empire building is long past, we have an opportunity to be a part of reforging America in the 21st Century. A second great railroad revolution is taking place in the U.S. right now. In California, in Michigan, in Texas and in Florida, America is building a new nationwide system of high-speed trains. And you can be a part of it. 

High speed rail doesn’t just happen overnight. It requires lots of support from businesspeople and politicians. Fortunately, All Aboard Erie has already started to garner both local national attention. Here are just a few of the people who are already on board!

Beyond the politicians and the bankers and railroadmen, what do the average people of NW PA think about this project? To find out we went out and asked them. To see all of the interviews head over to our Facebook page but here is one railfan’s take on it: 

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All Aboard Erie has put together awesome rewards for our very supportive Railfans! All of these rewards were either developed exclusively for this project or are original works from local Erie artists and writers who support this project and want to bring high speed rail to our area!  Please check out these rewards below!

For more examples of Edmondson's unique map making skills check out his website!

Anyone who has done one, knows that launching a Kickstarter campaign takes a lot of work and dedication! We would like to thank all of the people who helped including:

  • Our loyal fans! 
  • Our friends and family! 
  • The Mercyhurst Quickstarter team - Kris Wheaton, Tyler Ennis (Project Manager), and Katherine Kayes (Kickstarter Page)! Our filmer, Shelby Dailey!
  • All the Railfans out there!

Risks and challenges

Building a railroad doesn't happen overnight. The first rail will not be laid and the first spike will not be driven until there is a plan in place. And the first step in that planning process is a study of possible rail routes between Pittsburgh and Erie. After that will come other studies -- a feasibility study and environmental impact and engineering studies. But the train has to start somewhere.

The goal of All Trains Lead to Erie is to raise at least $3,000 for the route study. However, even if our Kickstarter campaign is successful, it does not guarantee we will raise the entire $25,000 needed for the study -- at least not right away. We believe we will raise the entire amount eventually, but it might be months or even a year or two before all the funding is in place.

Creating something like a railroad is unique because it involves so many people and interests in dozens of communities across western Pennsylvania and perhaps even Ohio. It is easy for someone in, say, Erie, to think that this project should be a Pittsburgh-based project, or vise versa. So, pulling all those scattered interests into one focused project can be a challenge. But the reality is, this is a project with national implications, and the rewards will be dramatic for everyone it touches.

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FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    TRACK LAYER -
    + At this level you get a PDF copy of the final high-speed rail route study detailing routes, speeds, costs and potential ridership
    + our thanks for supporting high speed rail!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    FIREMAN -
    + A printed copy of the high-speed rail route study detailing routes, speeds, costs and potential ridership
    + our thanks!

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    4 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    ENGINEER 1 -
    + Our exclusive All Aboard Erie t-shirt
    + A printed copy of the final high-speed rail route study detailing routes, speeds, costs and potential ridership
    + our thanks!

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    ENGINEER 2 -
    + Our exclusive All Trains Lead to Erie embroidered patch featuring the All Aboard Erie logo on a red and gold keystone shield recalling "The Standard Railroad of the World," the Pennsylvania RR.
    + A printed copy of the final high-speed rail route study detailing routes, speeds, costs and potential ridership
    + our thanks!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    HOBO -
    + A personalized, autographed copy of Waiting on a Train, Northwest Pennsylvania native James McCommons' wonderful narrative of "a year spent riding across America" on Amtrak. His compelling journal serves as inspiration for the future of American passenger rail.
    + a printed copy of the feasibility study when completed!
    + our thanks!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    WANDERER -
    + Women Longing to Fly is Pennsylvania native Sara Kay Rupnik's compelling collection of short stories -- the perfect reading companion for a rail traveler.
    + A printed copy of the final high-speed rail route study detailing routes, speeds, costs and potential ridership 
    + our thanks!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    TRESTLE -
    + "Tracks Across the Sky" - documentary DVD about the Kinzua railroad bridge in Pennsylvania.
    + A printed copy of the final high-speed rail route study detailing routes, speeds, costs and potential ridership
    + our thanks!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    FAST TRACK -
    + Autographed, custom-designed map of high-speed rail routes from Chicago to the East Coast through Erie by famed graphic designer David Edmondson,
    + A printed copy of the final high-speed rail route study detailing routes, speeds, costs and potential ridership
    + our thanks!

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    STATIONMASTER -
    + A full-color print of the latest high-speed train station concept, designed for Erie.
    + A printed copy of the final high-speed rail route study detailing routes, speeds, costs and potential ridership
    + our thanks!

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    TRAINMASTER -
    + The Entire All Aboard Erie custom package: A printed copy of the route study, the David Edmondson HSR map, the Alll Aboard Erie T-shirt, and the All Trains Lead to Erie embroidered patch. None of the these items are available anywhere else; all four rewards can be yours with one contribution!
    + our thanks!

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  11. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    ALL ABOARD -
    + "Save Me San Francisco" CD by Train. Autographed by Erie, PA native, Pat Monahan and the band, this is a rare treat for any fan of Train. Only two available!
    + A printed copy of the final high-speed rail route study detailing routes, speeds, costs and potential ridership
    + our thanks!

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    GRAND CENTRAL STATION -
    + A full-color print of the latest high-speed train station concept, designed for Erie.
    + The Entire All Aboard Erie custom package: A printed copy of the route study, the David Edmondson HSR map, the Alll Aboard Erie T-shirt, and the All Trains Lead to Erie embroidered patch.
    + our thanks!

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    DISPATCHER -
    + An in-person presentation for your organization of the route study. Learn first-hand all of the details of the completed route study and the next steps in the process to bring high-speed rail to western Pennsylvania. This offer may be limited to 100 miles from Erie.
    + A printed copy of the final high-speed rail route study detailing routes, speeds, costs and potential ridership
    + our thanks!

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    SHINKANSEN -
    Named for the original Japanese train that started the HSR revolution 50 years ago.
    + Invitations for two to the unveiling of the Route Study presentation in Erie
    + High sponsorship recognition in the Route Study.
    + Dinner for two at the Bewerie in historic Union Station
    + Two TRAINMASTER reward packages including T-shirts, patches, HSR map, and printed copy of the Route Study.

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    AVE -
    Named for the Spanish HSR system, the longest system in Europe.
    + Invitations for four to the unveiling of the Route Study presentation in Erie.
    + Higher sponsorship recognition in the Route Study.
    + Dinner for four at the Brewerie in Erie's historic Union Station.
    + Four TRAINMASTER reward packages including T-shirts, patches, HSR map, and printed copy of the Route Study.

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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    TRES GRANDE VITESSE -
    Our penultimate reward level, named for the famed high-speed trains of France.
    + Invitations for eight to the unveiling of the Route Study presentation in Erie.
    + Highest sponsorship recognition in the Route Study.
    + Dinner for eight at the Brewerie in Erie's historic Union Station.
    + Eight TRAINMASTER reward packages including T-shirts, patches, HSR map, and printed copy of the Route Study.

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  17. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    RAILROAD EMPIRE -
    Our highest and most exclusive reward level for the most visionary railroad backer. Fund the entire Kickstarter campaign!
    + Exclusive naming rights to the entire Route Study.
    + Invitations for 12 to the unveiling of the Route Study presentation in Erie.
    + Dinner for 12 at the Brewerie in Erie's historic Union Station.
    + Twelve TRAINMASTER reward packages including T-shirts, patches, HSR map, and printed copy of the Route Study, autographed by the study's author.

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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Funding period

- (31 days)