We view our work with CSR as an opportunity to minimize wear and tear on the engine, decrease coal consumption and increase the power and reliability of our motive power. If we can make the locomotive a better tool without impacting the historic integrity, we get a win-win.
— Bernd Seiler, Harz Narrow Gauge Railways

We build relationships

The Coalition for Sustainable Rail strives to be just that: a "Coalition." From our professional relationships with the University of Minnesota to our interactions with multiple biofuel, boiler, and preservation industry organizations, CSR prides itself in maintaining meaningful and quality relationships with each of its supporters.


The day-to-day operation of CSR and the bulk of the restoration of ATSF 3463 is funded by CSR's hundreds of donors, known officially as "Supporters." The donations of our Supporters go to assist our not-for-profit team in undertaking important restoration work and supporting unique education initiatives. We maintain our relationship with Supporters through paper newsletters, advanced email news of exciting developments, and advanced access to CSR White Papers. Learn more on becoming a DONOR to CSR.


We enjoy a collaborative relationship with the University of Minnesota Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) and the Institute on the Environment (IonE). The mission of NRRI is to foster the  economic development of Minnesota’s natural resources in an environmentally sound manner to promote private sector employment. IonE is dedicated to promoting statewide economic development; sustainable, healthy diverse ecosystems; and national energy security through the development of bio-based and other renewable resource processes.  In its collaboration with CSR, both will work concurrently to finalize the development of practical torrefied biomass and the energy systems engineered to combust it efficiently. SRI is responsible for coordination between the U of M and its researchers and executing the rebuild of a 1937-built steam locomotive. Supported by a highly-knowledgeable board of directors, the leadership of CSR have worked diligently to develop sound arguments for modern steam technology and look forward to bringing research from the US's fourth-largest research university onto the rails.

Industry Sponsors

Since our founding, we have sought to build relationships with sustainability and historic preservation-conscious industries and groups. These SPONSORS, including railroad industry, railroad preservation, boiler industry, biofuel industry, and publication industry leaders, have found that supporting our not-for-profit not only advances our mission, but also builds awareness and technological developments pertinent to their individual fields.

We take a diverse approach



The logical application of advanced sciences to technologies that have stood the test of time is core to the innovation CSR and its collaborators are pursuing. Be it the adaptation of 1920's coffee roasting technology to make torrefieid biomass or the application of efficient and advanced fluid dynamics to the steam locomotive boiler, we strive to advance the state of the art.


Railroad Preservation

We pride ourselves in honoring the history and tradition of railroad heritage, and the restoration of ATSF 3463 to operation is the ultimate example of linking the past to the present. CSR will return the engine to steam, improving certain systems of the locomotive to increase efficiency and power, without impacting the historical integrity of the artifact. More info may be found here.


Biofuel Research and Development

CSR is collaborating with the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota-Duluth to advance biofuel research and development. The recent installation of a 28,000 pound-per-day torrefied biomass reactor, combined with grant awards to make a reactor capable of nearly doubling that capacity, has placed NRRI in the unique position of being able to create industrial-scale quantities of torrefied biomass fuel for use in advanced boiler systems.


Distributed Generation

The same technological advances that are enabling CSR to pursue efficient, reliable steam technologies in the railroad preservation space also allow the creation of small-scale, distributed generation. CSR is working with collaborators at the University of Minnesota to create an integrated biofuel reactor / distributed generation system. More information may be found here.



As a public charity dedicated to education, CSR prides itself in providing high quality information to the public regarding its research and preservation. This site has significant resources available to you, including our White Paper Program, information on research undertaken in Germany, history of locomotive 3463 and more!

We work hands on

CSR prides itself in performing hands on work to the utmost standard.  Our team of professional railroaders, biofuel researchers, scientists, engineers, and educators are among the most skilled in their respective fields, and a such, CSR is able to undertake projects ranging from the fabrication of a new boiler generator system to the safe and reliable operation of mainline steam locomotives.

We put ENGINEER back in "engineering"

Mechanical Engineering. Electrical Engineering. Locomotive Engineering.

We pride ourselves at CSR in being able to handle most any project that comes our way, and our engineers are specialists in their defined fields. We work both conceptually and physically to advance the state of the art and to keep historical technologies alive.

To that end, our team is experienced in all facets of mainline, high horsepower locomotive operation and maintenance. The video BELOW shows CSR's Director of Project Management, Rob Mangels, operating a mainline steam locomotive over the BNSF Railway between Prairie du Chien and La Crosse, Wisconsin.