About the Film
By the year 2050, the population of the U.S. and Canada is expected to exceed more than 100 million people. This population boom will occur at a time when oil reserves are declining, gasoline prices are rising, and urban road congestion is becoming more and more extreme. Many believe alternative transportation choices – particularly a re-emergence of North American rail service – will be needed to ensure future continued movement of people and freight between cities.
“Sidetracked: Redefining Rail” sheds light on the transportation issues that plague North America and examine the viability of improving rail infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest to help alleviate the problem of congestion.
The documentary was produced by MediaLab out of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash, and explores the social, economic, and political challenges that rail improvement in the Pacific Northwest faces in the coming years.
The film was produced in cooperation with several research partners that include Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, the Cascadia Center, a Seattle-based transportation policy think-tank, the Canadian Consulate in Seattle, and other organizations.
“Sidetracked: Redefining Rail” addresses transportation infrastructure issues from multiple angles to give the audience a diverse perspective by including testimonies of academics, politicians, community leaders, and the average North American citizen.
In 2009, an era of excitement swept over North America as President Obama announced United States’ commitment to bringing high-speed rail to America. Since then, the realities of the economic recession and its political repercussions have made this a slow process.
Washington State, in particular, quickly saw the potential. Not only accepting it’s own federal funding for the high-speed rail stimulus, Governor Christine Gregoire also received funding awarded to Wisconsin and Florida state when they refused it. Read more>>