Ron Kaminkow on Trains and Railroads


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One of the most essential elements of our infrastructure in the United States, for moving freight across the country, for getting travelers and commuters to their destinations, and for addressing the challenges of a changes climate is railroads. There are about 140,000 miles of railroad track in the United States, much of it being severely under-utilized for various reasons.

On this episode of Renoites, we welcome Ron Kaminkow. Ron is an Amtrak Engineer based in Reno, Nevada who serves as co-chair of the Nevada Rail Coalition, a "citizen-based initiative that brings together organizations, groups and individuals, including unions, environmental organizations, passenger and freight rail advocacy associations, social justice organizations, and neighborhood and community associations for the purpose of building an expanded and more robust rail system"

Ron and Conor discuss the history of the rail network in the United States, the reasons for declining freight and passenger rail (and solutions to reverse the trend), the project of building an industrial union in an industry dominated by smaller craft unions under the banner of the Railroad Workers United, the impact of the recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill on passenger rail, plus local issues like passenger connectivity between Reno and the Bay Area and the legacy of the downtown trench project.

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