RIDE ALONG DURING TESTING IN SPRING 2018!
After months of tests, CSR is ready to take the next step in its groundbreaking research to use wood-based coal substitute to power a full-size, standard gauge passenger train. And thanks to the generosity of the Everett Railroad, you can be there for this historic event.
CSR has been offered a limited number of slots to allow donors to ride along on a run during testing. This invitation applies to anyone who has already donated to CSR in 2017 and extends to those who make donations now through April 13, 2018. That means... there's still time for you to get on the list!
- Anyone that has donated to CSR already in 2017 or
- Anyone that donates to CSR now until April 13, 2018
- (Recommended minimum donation: $50)
- The Everett Railroad, based out of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania
- Will receive an invitation from CSR to ride along in the tool car with the CSR research team during biofuel tests on the Everett Railroad in Spring 2018
- Testing is scheduled to take place in early May 2018, though a final date will be established in early 2018
- Those who donated to CSR in 2017 - check for CSR's recent email instructions about how to sign up. If you have questions, you may always contact us here.
- For those new or renewing donors to CSR - you may click the link below to make a donation online or find instructions to mail in a donation. Once you have donated, you will be contacted by CSR to see if you'd be interesting in riding along!
The Nitty Gritty Details
A brief background
The Coalition for Sustainable Rail is a 501c(3) not-for-profit educational and research organization. It has been working in collaboration with the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota - Duluth to develop a wood-based coal substitute known as "torrefied biomass." After more than five years of research, including multiple trials on the Milwaukee County Zoo train, CSR and NRRI now believe they have a viable fuel for use in steam locomotives. To test this theory, they have enlisted the help of the Everett Railroad.
Everett Railroad (EVRR) No. 11 is a 1923-built 2-6-0 that hauls tourist trains in Pennsylvania. The EVRR has offered to let CSR use its 2-6-0 to test a large quantity of torrefied biomass on over-the-road trials. This will be the first time anywhere in the world that torrefied biomass will be used to haul a full-sized passenger train, and we'd be honored to have you join us!
CSR will be undertaking two days of tests on the EVRR that are scheduled to take place in early May 2018. Existing 2017 donors and all donors who make gifts through April 13, 2018, will be invited to ride along on a Saturday trip, a non-revenue, non-standard day of testing and research. Come and experience fuel research first hand!
ABOUT THE TESTING
CSR has joined forces with NRRI to manufacture 10 tons of torrefied biomass fuel for burning in the Everett Railroad No. 11. This fuel will be shipped from Coleraine, Minnesota, to Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, for use on the upcoming tests once it is completed.
The testing is scheduled to take place over a three day period, on a Friday through Sunday. CSR donors, as defined above, will be invited to ride along with the CSR research team on the Saturday trip, riding in the EVRR's combine right behind the steam engine. CSR researchers will provide a pre-trip briefing on their procedures as well as provide riders an opportunity to interact with, and view, researchers performing real time data collection.
The test date is currently scheduled for early March 2018, but as with many things related to research, this could change. We want to be up front with those interested in joining us that, due to the varied nature of research, you should do whatever you can to maximize flexibility in your travel plans, understanding that sometimes the nature of research leads to unexpected delays, or changes, in scheduling.
CSR will maintain a special email list for all those applicable donors who express an interest in riding, and communications will provide updates as to final scheduling. CSR anticipates being able to provide a 90% firm testing date by late-March 2018 to its donors.
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Space is limited - the total number of available slots for riders on the test train is limited, and CSR will be distributing its invitations on a first come, first served basis, based upon date of donation. One invitation will be offered per donor; requests for additional invitations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
- This invitation is not a ticket, and it is nontransferable - CSR is offering those who donated in 2017 and through April 13, 2018 (hereinafter "donor"), an opportunity to ride along on an already-scheduled test run. A minimum donation of $50 is recommended for this opportunity. This invitation has no value and is nontransferable.
- Testing will be on the Everett Railroad and is currently scheduled to occur during a weekend in May 2018 - The invitation mentioned in  above is for riding along on tests scheduled to take place on the Everett Railroad in central Pennsylvania. Detailed information regarding boarding locations / times / dates will be provided via email to CSR donors who have expressed an interest in being invited to ride along. The estimated total round trip time is approximately one hour, and there will be opportunities to chase and photograph the train thereafter.
- The testing date could change, so please make flexible travel arrangements - While CSR and its collaborators will do everything in their power to schedule a test date (see  above), and adhere to said date, it is possible that the test date could change, even as late as the week of testing. CSR anticipates providing a test date with relative certainty by late March, with updates to be provided to the CSR donor invite list as it is made more concrete. While a change in schedule after announcing a set date is highly unlikely, we want to encourage everyone who receives an invitation to make refundable travel arrangements. Neither CSR, nor its collaborators, accept any liability for changes in scheduling.
- Travel, lodging, food, and expenses are the responsibility of the invitee - Should a donor as defined in  above be offered an invitation to participate in the EVRR testing, it will be their sole responsibility to arrange and pay for all expenses associated with their participation in the tests. These would include, but are not limited to, any travel, lodging, food, and sundry expenses associated with getting to / from the Everett Railroad.
- This trip is for research and educational purposes - CSR will be extending invitations to participate in the experience of biofuel testing and to see the research in action. As a research undertaking, this trip may not resemble a steam excursion, in that research may dictate periodic stopping, changes in speed, repetition, or other atypical operations. The total estimated round trip travel time of the donor run is estimated to be approximately one hour. During the testing, CSR will: provide a pre-trip briefing to all in attendance; offer educational materials to those on board; and enable those riding to observe the research and data gathering first hand.
- This information is subject to change - As the nature of research and field testing is varied, it is possible that this information and these disclaimers may change. Keep an eye on this site for updates or, if you are a CSR donor, as described in  above, you will also be provided via email updates outlining any changes.
- Have any questions? - You may always reach out to CSR using our Contact Us page.
If you've made it this far and are still interested, please consider making a donation and requesting an invitation to ride. Once you have donated, CSR will reach out with instructions on how to sign up to attend the tests! We are looking forward to sharing this exciting research experience with our donors.