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:
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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