Alison Carney ’02: Revolution on the Rails

Alison Carney travels the country to find musical connection

Millenial Trains Project


Before the advent of the Internet, text messages, or Skype, trains helped connect America’s vastly differing regions. From whistle-stop campaigns to train-hopping to chugging through scenic landscapes, rail travel has had quite a romantic history, and now, with the help of the Millennial Trains Project (MTP), it has a promising future.

According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials (eighteen- to thirty-four-year-olds) are “confident, connected, and open to change.” The MTP brings together the enthusiastic pioneers and entrepreneurs of this generation for a two-week excursion on a vintage train. In order to climb aboard, one must first crowd- fund an individual project to be pursued during the journey. In addition to working on these projects, travelers participate in on-train seminars and workshops.

Last summer, independent recording artist and songwriter Alison Carney ’02 went on MTP’s inaugural trip to “bring things back to basics.” Her project was called “Operation Musical Revolution,” and at each stop she not only created one new song, but also interviewed local policymakers, city builders, politicians, community members, artists, musicians, and homeless people about the connections they see between music, culture, and society. “The project morphed into an experience far beyond what I could’ve imagined,” says Carney, “and addressed how everyone from scientists to tech innovators to government organizations uses music to get their ideas to communities.”

This article appeared in the fall 2013 issue of the Alumnae Quarterly.

Learn more about the Millennial Trains Project at, and access Carney’s music for free at


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