What is is about a train that makes people want to climb aboard? How did railroads help shape America as we know it, and what happened to the shape of America when cars and highways took their place as the primary movers of people? Can a passenger train revival help America weather unprecedented challenges to our way of life, allowing us to live both prosperously and sustainably in a hotter, more crowded, post-fossil fuel age?Our friend Malcolm Kenton, the Outreach Director of National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP), hopes to take an exciting transcontinental train journey for innovative and civic-minded members of the Millennial generation, organized by the Millennial Trains Project (MTP). Over the course of this journey, Malcolm will seek answers to the above questions and will attempt to reawaken young Americans’ connection with our landscape as viewed through a train window, and with the people we meet as we travel. Learn more about Malcolm’s project at http://crowdhitch.millennialtrain.co/campaign/detail/1157.
The journey, to take place in mid-August, is being described as a “TED Talks on wheels,” bringing together a group of at least 40 young adults who each raise $5,000 from friends and family by July 1, along with special invited guests who will be both riding the train and speaking with the participants at stops along the way.
Each Millennial who raises $5,000 must produce something of lasting value as a result of his or her experience, and Malcolm’s product will be both a film and a photo essay that will draw connections between Americans’ historic and cultural ties with railroads and the need for revitalized railroads to be a part of our green future. Please pitch in to help make this work possible: go to http://crowdhitch.millennialtrain.co/campaign/detail/1157 and click “Support this campaign.”
The idea for MTP is inspired by the annual Jagriti Yatra (www.jagritiyatra.com) on the Indian Railways, a trip that circumnavigates the continent, is sponsored by Dell and Google, and is almost universally recognized by the younger generation of Indians as an enviable opportunity. MTP has already obtained sponsorships from National Geographic Traveler magazine, NPR, the Associated Press, McKinsey & Company, Opportunity Nation, and Start-Up America.