Swift Rails is an alternative transport company that specializes in railway transport systems based in Buffalo.
The company started a few years after Kevin Neumaier, CEO of Swift Rails, spoke about alternative transport at the UN Climate meeting in Copenhagen.
“In 2014, we realized we could build something that could have a big impact on the world,” Neumaier said.
His main idea was a more efficient form of transportation that would reduce traffic congestion, lower vehicle emissions, and be easily accessible to anyone. The project’s sustainable roots were inspired by Neumaier’s background in environmental engineering through his time at Ecology and Environment, Inc., with corporate headquarters in WNY.
When speaking on the efficiency of the rail vehicle, Neumaier said, “The vehicles are battery powered and get a 500 mile per gallon equivalent.” Mile per gallon of gas equivalent, also known as MPGe, “is a unit used to compare the amount of energy consumed by alternative fuel vehicles to that of traditional gas-powered cars,” according to U.S. News and World Report.
The rail system would be 12 to 15 feet above roads or sidewalks and would be accessible to board through elevated platforms. Support poles, similar to the size of telephone poles, would be the structure used to mount and hold up the tracks for the vehicles.
Swift Rails has undergone several design iterations, while aiming to improve the design of the rail transport system. The rail system itself would have several dozen carts (at least) to accommodate a city’s transportation needs and each cart would come with a one, two, or four person capacity.
“We are in discussion to develop a rail in Potsdam at Clarkson University sometime next year,” Neumaier said.
Neumaier also aims to develop a rail in Buffalo in the future and is planning possible routes. As a native Buffalonian who got his Masters in Natural Science from University at Buffalo, Neumaier hopes to have a rail in his hometown eventually.
A Niagara Falls route is also a possibility near the Robert Moses Parkway where parts of the road are currently being removed.
The project is mostly self funded thus far, and does have several local and non-local private investors. Next up, Neumaier aims to raise money by selling shares on the investment website WeFunder in coming weeks.