Trains, Planes, Automobiles: The American Transportation Project, 1937-2023 TRANSIT

GROUP: Continuous Crisis



  • Harper Schwab (he/him)
  • Victor Brown (he/him)
  • Sophia Ktsanes (she/her)
Email Committee Chair

This is an advanced crisis committee. It is recommended that delegates have competed in or have familiarity with crisis committees.


Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: The American Transportation Project 1937-2023, is a continuous crisis committee in three parts, with a different topic each day. As a throughline, delegates’ arcs and frontroom directives from each day will have an effect on the next, making each topic, while distinct, contribute to the American Transportation Project.

General Motors Board of Directors, 1937:
In 1937, the first major labor dispute in the U.S. auto industry occurred with the United Auto Workers Union striking against General Motors. This was caused by hundreds of deaths in Michigan auto plants during a heat wave. This heat wave combined with difficult working conditions caused an eruption in demonstrations from the workers. This culminated in a sit-down strike, a legal form of protest at the time. A second sit-down strike followed soon after. Delegates will investigate the labor side of transportation administration investigating working conditions, high-output factories, and transportation and not pedestrian-focused infrastructure in the United States.

Ted Stevens Airport Board of Trustees, 1988:
Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage, Alaska used to be one of the largest and most utilized airports in the world, while nowadays primarily a cargo hub, the airport was the main refueling airport for flights going across the Pacific. Throughout the Cold War, the airport served as an area of special interest for many as one of the most common routes would fly around or through Soviet airspace (depending on current policy). However, As the new Boeing 747-400 was developed in the mid-1980s and the Soviet Union began embodying Mikhail Gorbachev’s open door and transparent policy concept of glasnost, the extended range of the Boeing 747 no longer needed to refuel at Ted Stevens and instead could fly non-stop over Siberia. Delegates will investigate how to deal with the increasing efficiency of transportation technology and attempt to broaden the horizons of an airport from simply creating travel, to impacting its surrounding environment and community.

Norfolk Southern Board of Directors, 2023:
In 2023 more the three dozen rail cars derailed outside of East Palestine, Ohio near the Pennsylvania state line. The derailment caused a mixture of hazardous materials causing a large fire. This fire and spill caused massive ecological damage to the region especially after law enforcement chose to ensure a controlled detonation and burn to prevent an unprompted explosion. The result left plumes of toxic chemicals and smoke into the air prompting 1500-200 residents to evacuate the area. Delegates as members of the Norfolk Southern Board of Directors will investigate the environmental impact of the train system, particularly cargo transportation in the United States, as well as improvements to the ever-declining United States Railway for passengers when compared to other countries around the world