November 2022 NRC Bulletin

December 2, 2022

NRC Updates and Announcements

President of Genesee & Wyoming North American Operations Michael Miller to participate as Fireside Chat Keynote

The NRC was pleased to announce in late October that Michael O. Miller, President of G&W’s North American operations, will be the keynote speaker for the Fireside Chat at the upcoming conference!

Miller was appointed President of G&W’s North American operations in October 2018. He joined the company as Chief Commercial Officer for North America in September 2010 and was previously General Manager of Norfolk Southern’s Modalgistics Supply Chain Solutions, where he improved customers’ supply chain efficiencies through rail, transload and intermodal service. He will be the keynote for a terrific speaker lineup, featuring the below CONFIRMED speakers:

  • Michael Miller, President, G&W North American Operations ***Fireside Chat Keynote***
  • Brent Laing, VP of Engineering, CN
  • Brian Reilly, Specialist, FRA
  • Cory Johnson, Specialist, Railroad Safety Partnerships, FRA
  • Craig Rasmussen, AVP Engineering Services & Structures, BNSF
  • Dave Dech, Executive Director, SFTRA
  • Ed Boyle, VP of Engineering, NS
  • Ed Sparks, Chief Engineer - Bridges, Design & Construction, CSX
  • Janice R. Thomas, Deputy Executive Director, External Affairs, Metra
  • Kari Gonzales, President & CEO, MvX Rail
  • Kristine Storm, VP of Purchasing, G&W
  • Michael Cegelis, EVP, Development & Construction, Brightline
  • Rob Castiglione, Staff Director, Railroad Safety Partnerships, FRA
  • Scott Bannwart, VP of Engineering, Patriot Rail
  • Shane Keller, VP of Engineering, UP
  • Tom Holmes, Vice President – Purchasing & Materials, Watco
  • Tony Hatch, Senior Transportation Analyst, ABH Consulting
  • Trent M. Hudak PE, Director of Engineering Services, BNSF and AREMA

Additionally, the NRC Conference general session will feature the following panels:

  • Signals and Communications Panel featuring:
  • Carl Walker, Chief Engineer C&S, CSX
  • Jay McAndrew, General Director Signal, UP
  • Rob Dickson, AVP S&C, NS
  • Steven Vant, Assistant Chief Engineer - Signal Maintenance and Construction, Conrail
  • Tom Hilliard, Chief S&C, CN
  • Rail Sustainability Panel featuring:
  • Clark Ponthier, SVP – Supply Chain & Continuous Improvement, UP
  • Janet Drysdale, VP Sustainability, CN
  • Kayden Howard, VP Health, Safety & Environmental, KCS
  • Laura McNichol, SVP Government and Industry Relations, Watco
  • Raghu Chatrathi, Senior Director PSHE, CSX
  • Rail Government Affairs Panel featuring:
  • Arielle Giordano, Managing Director US Gov't Affairs, CP 
  • David Woodruff, AVP, Head U.S. Public & Government Affairs, CN
  • Laura McNichol, SVP Government and Industry Relations, Watco
  • Jordan Stone, Assistant Vice President, Government Affairs, AAR

NRC 2023 Conference registration fees and hotel information:

Hotel: The NRC Room Block at the Boca Raton Resort is SOLD OUT. Please reach out to NRC staff at to be placed on a waiting list should cancellations occur

NRC-REMSA 2023 Exhibition booth rates:

Exhibit Hall: Click the below links for more details:

Each booth comes with one complimentary conference registration. For questions regarding the NRC-REMSA Exhibition and reserving your booth, please contact Heidi Baker at (202) 844-6126 or by email at

Golf Tournament is SOLD OUT: The NRC 2023 Golf Tournament will be held Friday, January 6th and located on two courses: the Boca Raton Resort Golf Club located at 501 E Camino Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432 and the award-winning Deer Creek Golf Club located at 2801 DC Country Club Boulevard, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442 (roughly an 18-20 minute drive from the Boca Raton Resort Golf Club.) To sign up for the 2023 NRC Golf Tournament waiting list, please contact NRC staff at

Everglades Tour is SOLD OUT: Concurrent with the NRC Golf Tournament, an Everglades Tour will be available for those who do not want to golf on Friday, January 6th. Pick-up and drop-off for the event will be at the Boca Raton Resort 501 E Camino Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432. To sign up for the 2023 NRC Everglades tour waiting list, please contact NRC staff at

Questions? Please contact or visit

2023 NRC Conference and NRC-REMSA Exhibit Sponsorships Still Available!

Event Sponsorships: Sponsorships are filling up fast, and you do not want to miss the opportunity to reserve your organization's sponsorship. Sponsor benefits include:

  • Sponsor ribbon on conference badges
  • Sponsor recognition on the NRC website in lead-up to the Conference
  • Sponsor recognition in NRC Conference emails to attendees, and NRC monthly bulletin
  • Signage with your company logo throughout the venue 
  • Recognition at the event
  • Your company logo featured in the Digital App NRC Conference Program Guide.

Please click here to view the most current NRC 2023 Conference Sponsorships


Interested in a high-recognition and high-value sponsorship at the 2023 NRC Conference? Sponsor up to 2 golf holes per company at the SOLD OUT NRC 2023 Conference Golf Tournament on January 6, 2023! Priced at $350 per hole. Golf hole sponsorships are a cost-effective way to sponsor at the NRC 2023 Conference and receive brand recognition at the premier railroad industry golf event. Click here to reserve your golf hole sponsorship while there is still time!

In order to reserve your golf hole sponsorship in time, please contact NRC staff at by COB December 9, 2023 and be prepared to have your organization logo handy so that signs may be ordered in time. If you have any other questions, please contact NRC staff.

Thank you to our NRC 2023 Conference Sponsors!

Policy on Entertainment - The NRC Board of Directors has adopted a Policy on Entertainment to provide all NRC Conference and NRC-REMSA Exhibition ("Conference") attendees an equal opportunity to participate in the entertainment of our railroad, transit, commuter, passenger and other customers, speakers, and guests.

The Policy applies to events in connection with the Conference. During this timeframe, private hospitality events on or off the Conference premises are not permitted and no organized private entertainment is permitted while conference proceedings or events are occurring. Attendees are encouraged to participate in the common hospitality events and may not organize events that compete with the conference program.

All Attendees are expected to comply with this Policy. By registering for the Conference, you are certifying that all representatives and associates who are attending the Conference on behalf of your organization have been notified of this Policy and will observe and abide by it.

Scam Alert -We ask conference attendees to be vigilant of scams, including any solicitations via email that offer hotel deals or registration lists on behalf of the NRC. These groups are not affiliated with the NRC. Please check the NRC website or email NRC staff directly for the most up-to-date conference information.

NRC 2023 Conference Updates: Seminars and breakout session info, and Speed Networking Sessions sign-ups coming soon!

The following seminars and breakout sessions on Thursday, January 5, 2023 in the afternoon have been confirmed for the NRC 2023 Conference:

  • NEWLY ANNOUNCED: Norfolk Southern "Speed Networking" More details regarding sign-up's will be announced next week to registered attendees
  • Union Pacific "Speed Networking." More details regarding sign-up's will be announced next week to registered attendees
  • Genesee & Wyoming "Speed Networking." More details regarding sign-up's will be announced next week to registered attendees
  • "My Brain Made Me Do It: Psychological Drivers of Employee Behavior" presented by Shae Birkey, MS, CSP, Safety Leadership Adviser/Industry Account Manager at Caterpillar Safety Services. 
  • FRA SOFA, FAMES and Part 243 Training Rule Update with Rob Castiglione, Staff Director, Railroad Safety Partnerships, FRA, Brian Reilly, Specialist, FRA and Cory Johnson, Specialist, Railroad Safety Partnerships, FRA
  • Two League of Railway Women (LRW) sessions on Strategies for Inclusion in the Workplace and Focusing on Safety: Operation LifeSaver 

Railroads, Labor Unions Reach Tentative Agreement to Avoid Strike

On December 2, President Biden signed legislation to avert a national rail strike that implements a tenative contract agreement between the nation's freight railroads and their workers. The agreement help prevents a strike that would have gone into effect on December 9, 2022.

Biden signing the bill into law following the December 1, 2022 US Senate passage of H.J. Resolution 100 (the rail labor agreement reached in September of 2022) by a vote of 80-15. There was also a vote on H.Con Resolution 119 (adopting the seven additional paid sick leave days) and it fell short by eight votes. Prior to the December 1 vote Senate Vote, the House passed H.J. resolution 100 on November 30 by a vote of 290-137, along with H.Con Resolution 119 (the seven additional sick day provision) by a vote of 221-207

Mentioned in previous NRC bulletins, the tentative contracts provide rail employees a 24 percent wage increase during the five-year period from 2020 through 2024, including an immediate payout on average of $11,000 upon ratification, following the recommendations of Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) No. 250. All tentative agreements are subject to ratification by the unions’ membership. As a reminder, NRC co-signed a letter to White House in regards to the PEB for freight/labor relations, encouraging the White House to follow precedent in the process of assembling a PEB and adopting its’ suggestions. 

NRC Members: NRC comments on NPRM

On November 7 2022, the NRC and American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) filed joint comments to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in response to the

published Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on amending its regulation on Training, Qualification, and Oversight for Safety-Related Railroad Employees (Training Rule) to codify agency guidance and clarify existing requirements.

To view the joint comments, please click here. The provision would define contractors who perform a significant portion of a railroad’s operations as directly affected employees for the purposes of RRP rule compliance. ASLRRA and the NRC call on the FRA to follow the lead of the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) and only consider contractors who act as conductors, locomotive engineers and dispatchers as directly affected employees. This is in addition to other recommendations. If you have any questions about the joint comments or the NPRM, please contact NRC staff at

NRC Members: NRC Joins Coalition Urging Congress to Reinstate EBITDA

In November, the NRC joined the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Coalition for America’s Interest in urging Congress to act by year’s end to reinstate the EBITDA standard for business interest deductions. The NRC co-signed a letter to US Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) and Rep. Kevin Brady in the US House of Representatives. A stricter EBIT-based limitation took effect at the beginning of 2022. By excluding the “DA” (companies’ depreciation and amortization expenses), the EBIT standard limits interest deductions for capital-intensive businesses and makes it more costly for them to debt finance for growth.

Additionally, prior to January 1, 2022, businesses’ interest expense deductions were limited by section 163(j) to 30% of their earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). Interest deductions are now limited to 30% of earnings before interest and tax (EBIT). By excluding depreciation and amortization, the stricter EBIT standard makes it more expensive for capital-intensive companies to debt finance and grow their businesses. Under an EBIT standard, capital-intensive companies face higher taxes and increased financing costs. This reduces their flexibility and liquidity when financing needed investments, ultimately making it more difficult for these job creators to raise capital, hire new workers, and grow.

USDOT Announces RAISE Grant NOFO

On November 30, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FY 23 for the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Grant Program under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA ). To view the NOFO, please click here.

A total of $1.5 billion is available for the FY 2023 RAISE grant program. These funds will be awarded on a competitive basis, per statute, for surface transportation infrastructure projects that will improve: safety; environmental sustainability; quality of life; mobility and community connectivity; economic competitiveness and opportunity including tourism; state of good repair; partnership and collaboration; and innovation. USDOT intends to update the NOFO on or before December 14, 2022 with complete program requirements and application information. Applications are due by 11:59:59PM ET on February 28, 2023.

NRC Member Ames Construction Celebrates Opening of BNSF's New Sandpoint Bridge

On November 20, NRC Member Ames Construction was pleased to celebrated the inaugural train ride across the newly constructed nearly mile-long rail bridge located in Sandpoint, Idaho. The new 4,769-foot rail bridge was constructed adjacent to an existing rail bridge, with the goal of reducing congestion and moving freight more efficiently. With Ames’ work on the new bridge complete, crews are proceeding with a bridge span replacement project on the original bridge. To view a video Ames put together on the project, please click here.

At roughly 4,800 feet in length, BNSF’s new bridge across Lake Pend Oreille parallels an existing bridge that has been in service since 1904, and will help eliminate a single-track bottleneck that had become increasingly detrimental to traffic flow on BNSF’s Northern Corridor. While improvements are being made to the older bridge over Lake Pend Oreille, BNSF will continue site preparation for a second main track that will run approximately one mile from the new bridge to Sandpoint Junction, where BNSF connects with Montana Rail Link. The historic Northern Pacific depot in Sandpoint, which serves as Amtrak’s only passenger stop in the entire state of Idaho, will see its platform reconfigured to make room for the second main track. After all bridge and track work is completed in Sandpoint, BNSF will have roughly 53 miles of double-track main line from there to Otis Orchards, Wash., on the eastern edge of Spokane. For more information on the historic project, please click here.

NRC Member R.J. Corman Announces New Service in Louisiana

NRC Member R.J. Corman Railroad Switching Company, LLC (a subsidiary of R. J. Corman Railroad Group) announced on December 1, 2022 it was awarded a contract to provide Sasol with switching service operations to their Lake Charles Chemical Complex in Westlake, Louisiana.

Sasol is a global solutions provider offering a broad, state-of-the-art portfolio of specialty and commodity chemicals for a wide range of applications and industries. At Sasol's Westlake location, R. J. Corman Railroad Switching Company, alongside diverse equipment, and railroad assets, will have a workforce of more than 50 employees covering various roles, from train crew members to mechanical, human resources, and management. This switching operation is served by Kansas City Southern (KCS) through its adjacent Mossville Yard and line. The contract will be five years, and is the second location opened by R.J. Corman Railroad Switching Company in Louisiana in 2022. For more information, please click here.

Industry News and Updates

First Phase of Rail Expansion at Port Greer Complete

On November 25, In a press release, the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) said “SC Ports’ teammates, elected leaders and community partners gathered today to celebrate the completed rail expansion at Inland Port Greer." They also touted "the next phase of expansion that will double cargo capacity at the rail-served inland port...Nine years into operations, we are thrilled to be expanding the cargo capacity and rail capabilities at Inland Port Greer to better serve our customers’ supply chains,” SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin said. In FY 2022, Inland Port Greer handled more than 150,000 rail lifts — meaning 150,000 containers were moved on or off Norfolk Southern trains. Inland Port Greer extends the Port of Charleston’s reach 212 miles inland with Norfolk Southern’s daily, overnight rail service, enabling imports and exports to quickly flow between Charleston and the Upstate.

Amtrak, CSX, NS, port settle Gulf Coast dispute

On November 22, Amtrak, CSX, Norfolk Southern Railway, and the Alabama State Port Authority notified the STB that they reached a settlement agreement over Amtrak's proposal to restore passenger-rail service along the Gulf Coast. In response to the settlement notice, the STB granted the parties’ request that it cancel an upcoming hearing and vote on the matter. The railroads and port authority plan to notify the board when the settlement terms have been met, STB officials said in a press release.For months, the parties have been in mediation talks over Amtrak's plan to restore service on tracks owned by CSX and NS along the coast between New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama. Amtrak trains haven’t served the region since Hurricane Katrina damaged rail infrastructure there in 2005.

Norfolk Southern’s Sanborn Stepping Down

On November 14, Norfolk Southern announced that  Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Cindy Sanborn will pass the throttle to Paul Duncan on Jan. 1, 2023. Sanborn is a 35-year railroad veteran, and took on the EVP and COO role following the retirement of Michael Wheeler. Sanborn Vice President Network Planning, a promotion from Regional Vice President Transportation-Western Region. She also spent 30 years at CSX, where she held such leadership positions as EVP and COO, VP and Chief Transportation Officer, and Vice President Northern Region.

NRC Member American Track Services Acquires The Railroad Associates Corp.

Earlier in April of 2022, NRC Member American Track announced acquisition of The Railroad Associates Corp (TRAC) in Boiling Springs, PA. Thomas Lucario, Chief Executive Officer of American Track commented: “TRAC has been a strong force in the railroad services industry, and we are happy to have them join the American Track family.  With the addition of the TRAC team, American Track greatly enhances our service delivery capabilities, customer base and national reach.” “We are excited to join the American Track organization” stated Mike Kennedy, founder of TRAC. “We set out 22 years ago to build a great company, and joining American Track is the culmination of those efforts. We are happy to be a part of team with that delivers to rail service clients a shared commitment to strong customer service, quality workmanship and safety.” 

The NRC is a trade association representing businesses from across the nation in the rail construction and maintenance field. NRC members range in size from small family businesses to the largest companies in the industry. NRC members perform work for transit, commuter, intercity passenger, industrial, and freight rail customers, with services including track construction and maintenance, grade crossings, signal and communications installation, bridge construction and repair, rail yard work, and many more. The NRC strives to put an emphasis on rail safety and quality while proudly serving the rail industry