This Founder Wants to Make the Railroad System Sustainable

Product of Solar Intermodals SBU System.

The US railroad system only accounts for 0.5% of the total US greenhouse gas emissions and 1.9% of transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, despite being responsible for 40% of the country’s freight. With a proposed expansion of the system to tackle the effects of vehicle emissions on climate change, many have wondered whether there is a way to make the railroads more sustainable. Robert R. Anderson Jr., founder of Solar Intermodal, has a solution to make railroads more environmentally friendly than ever before.

Creating a Climate-Friendly Railroad

“For as long as I could remember, I had always wanted to start, build, and develop a great industrial enterprise,” Anderson explained during our interview with the founder. And, with a background in Wall Street and real estate investment, it would seem the sustainable entrepreneur had already accomplished a great deal of success. That was until COVID-19 hit. “I had built a career on Wall Street valuing bonds for banks and hedge funds until I automated myself out of a job with a sophisticated pricing system in 2017,” he explained. “COVID-19 changed everything. It had destroyed my financial advisory business, made me realize that I wasn’t getting any younger and that your day can be up at any moment.” 

The jump from a financial advisor on Wall Street to a solar energy entrepreneur might seem out of the blue. However, it wasn’t the first time Anderson had toyed with the idea of starting this type of company. “I survived the 9/11 attack in NYC, my building was across the street, and I had missed my usual train to work that morning. The oil problems came when it was declared that the US was addicted to oil.” He says, “The idea has been brewing in my mind for decades. Everything from installing wind turbines on abandoned rail beds to building a hydrogen pipeline from solar farms in Nevada to the east. During the COVID-19 shutdown, I pieced it all together.”

Fortunately, the founder had kept designs, notes, and even a drafted business plan to work off of, and during quarantine, he sprung into action, filing a provisional patent, establishing the company in Delaware, and secured $38,000 in founder equity with Reg D Resources of Colorado. Explaining how the Solar Intermodal system works, Anderson says, “The SBU System is designed to attach solar panel arrays to freight rail cars and tractor-trailers to divide the electric loads of locomotives and power EV trucks.” 

In addition to having an impactful solution for emissions caused by freight, Anderson also has hope that the company will see success. “I am in tune with how Wall Street thinks, and billions of ESG investments are coming. This is the opportunity, and I have something that will be impactful, formidable, and transitional. Something so big and easy to implement that investors can’t say no.” He says, “Now is the time. There is a willingness to do this, and I devised the solution.”

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