February 2022 NRC Bulletin
March 1, 2022
NRC Updates and Announcements
NRC 2022 Railroad Equipment Auction - April 27 and 28, 2022
The NRC is hosting our annual construction and maintenance equipment auction in-person and virtually on April 27 and April 28, 2022 at the Delta Railroad Services location in Austinburg, OH.
Location: Delta Railroad Services, 2950 Industrial Park Drive, Austinburg, Ohio 44010

  • Virtual "Smalls" Auction - Begins on Friday, April 22, and extends through April 27, at 3 pm EDT - Due to the large volume of scrap metal, small parts and tools, this virtual auction extends over several days until the evening before the live auction. Registered buyers will have an opportunity to bid virtually on smaller auction items via the Proxibid website accessible on a phone, tablet or laptop. Please join us at the NRC Auction Happy Hour on 4/27 at The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake to watch items close in real time.
  • In order to get the small items advertised and in the online only auction, Blackmon Auctions will need to shut off all small item consignments by April 15. After that, Auction staff will not be able to accept any more items for the online only auction. No exceptions to that rule.
  • Live Auction with Online Bidding - Begins on Thursday, April 28, 2022, at 9 am EDT . We will conduct the auction live at the Delta Railroad Services yard in Austinburg, Ohio. Registered buyers will have an opportunity to bid in-person or online. All of these large items will close as the auctioneer says, "Sold!"

Equipment and Bidder Registration: To register equipment for sale or donation, or to register as a bidder, please email NRC staff at info@nrcma.org and Thomas Blackmon Jr. of Blackmon Auctions at thomas@blackmonauctions.org

Equipment Inspection: Contact Thomas Blackmon at thomas@blackmonauctions.com for equipment inquiries.

Shipment & Delivery of Equipment: The 2022 auction is virtual, to schedule shipment or delivery of equipment following the auction, please contact Thomas Blackmon Jr. of Blackmon Auctions at thomas@blackmonauctions.com

For the most up-to-date information, visit: https://www.nrcma.org/nrc-events/railroad-equipment-auction-2022
NRC Members: Join the Freight Rail Industry for Railroad Day on Capitol Hill - March 9 and 10, 2022

Once you have registered, attend a Zoom training on March 3 at 1pm ET (or listen to the recording) to learn about the logistics of the meetings, and review the points we will be making and join your meetings on March 9 and 10 using the provided Zoom links.

During Railroad Day on the Hill, the freight rail industry will ask policymakers to:

  • Oppose all efforts to increase truck length or weight limits, including any pilot programs or special exemptions for commodities.
  • Oppose any legislative or regulatory efforts that would adversely impact the railroads’ ability to invest now and into the future or the economic regulatory balance established under existing federal law.
  • Support full funding and streamlined implementation of the IIJA to improve efficiencies, safety and environmentally-friendly freight transportation.

The benefits of virtual Railroad Day include: increased range of potential participants, reduced travel time and costs associated with travel, more easily integrate Railroad Day meetings into your regular work schedule, and increased flexibility on the scheduling of specific meetings. Railroad Day on Capitol Hill, whether in person or online, has grown into one of the most organized and comprehensive industry days “in Washington,” and it allows those in the freight rail industry to make connections with D.C. lawmakers who are responsible for formulating legislation that affects freight rail operations and business practices.
Renew Your NRC Membership or Join Today!

It's time to renew your company's NRC 2022 membership. NRC staff has emailed your organization's primary contact for with all corresponding information for your organization's renewal. If your organization was a member in 2021, and you would like to renew or have any questions about renewing or joining in please contact NRC staff at info@nrcma.org

Not an NRC member and want to access to this and many other membership benefitsJoin as an NRC member today!. If you have any questions about joining the NRC, or your organization's current membership status, please simply reply to this email.
NRC Members: Advertise your internship

The NRC is now soliciting job postings for internships from our member contractors and suppliers for the NRC’s new Internship Job Board. This comprehensive Internship Job Board will provide a convenient way for our members to gain exposure for their internships and attract the most qualified students. It also will make it easy for college-age students studying in relevant programs, such as engineering and construction management, to find internships that match their interests and location.
DOT Lays Out Actions to Strengthen Supply Chains and Revitalize the Economy, AAR Issues Statement on DOT Report

On February 24, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) published a report, that lays out vulnerabilities in the nations freight and logistics supply chain along with clear-cut actions needed to speed up the movement of goods from ships to shelves. The Biden-Harris Administration has made this a top priority, including passing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). To view the comprehensive and thorough report, please click here.

“Decades of underinvestment in our infrastructure, unprecedented consumer demand amid our strong economic recovery, and continued pressure from the pandemic have all put immense strain on our supply chains,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This report lays out critically important steps we can take—both right now, and in the years ahead—to help strengthen our supply chains, create good-paying jobs, and ensure that Americans can affordably and efficiently access the goods they rely on.” 

In response to the report released on February 24, American Association of Railroads (AAR) President and CEO Ian Jeffries released the following statement on the DOT's report. In the statement, Jeffries praises the extensive review of the supply chain, however mentions that Freight railroads and the extensive comments which they submitted were largely ignored and "instead focuses on matters that would actually disrupt the fluidity of supply chains.
NRC IIJA Resource Page, BIL Dashboard Now Available

The NRC has compiled a comprehensive list of resources for its members on the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Please click here to access important resources on the NRC website and the newly-created IIJA page.

Additionally, the BIL (Bipartisan Infrastructure Law) dashboard that came out earlier in February. In an effort to streamline and present critical information related to available discretionary grants, the agencies that are involved, and the important dates related to all applications, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) created a comprehensive dashboard with all pertinent information. Please click here to view the DOT's comprehensive dashboard on BIL.
NRC Member Company RailWorks Transit Part of JV Awarded Penn Station Contract

Although it was announced in December 2021, in early February 2022, NRC member company RailWorks was part of a Joint Venture (JV) that was awarded the Penn Station Access project. “The Penn Station Access project will expand service options and accessibility for hundreds of thousands of Metro-North commuters,” said Kevin Riddett, NRC Board of Director member and RailWorks president and CEO. “RailWorks is proud to partner with Halmar International on this crucial project, and we look forward to seeing it fully completed.

The project will expand Metro-North Railroad service to Penn Station on Manhattan's West Side. RailWorks, working in a design-build partnership with Halmar International, will have its' New-York based transit division RailWorks transit LLC to construct new track and systems connecting Penn Station to Metro-North's New Haven rail line via the existing Amtrak Hell Gate Line. The Penn Station Access project aims to give a new service option for customers and reduce commute times to the Bronx, Westchester and Connecticut.
NRC Member Company Omaha Track promotes NRC Board Director Lisa Roberts to Chief Growth Officer

In mid-February, NRC member company Omaha Track announced the promotion of NRC Board Director Lisa Roberts as the organization's Chief Growth Officer. In her new role, Lisa will spearhead the identification of strategic growth opportunities by working with customers to identify business need sand areas of improvement.

She will also work with internal partners for the development, communication, implementation, and management of new business endeavors. Roberts began her career at Omaha Track in 2013, starting as Manager, Marketing & Facilities Development before being promoted to Director, Business Development & Marketing in 2018. Roberts received her BBA in Business Administration and Management from the University of South Dakota, and received her MBA in Business Administration and Management from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
NRC Members and Industry Friends: Sign GoRail's Letter Urging STB to Scrap Forced Access

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB), which oversees the economic regulation of freight railroads is currently considering a rule that would mandate reciprocal switching among freight railroads. The STB is holding a hearing in March to examine the policy of 'forced access.'

The reason that this matters is forced access would compromise the efficiency of the rail network and undermine service for rail customers and communities coast-to-coast when the supply chain is already facing severe challenges. Slowing train operations across a 140,000-mile network moving 1.5 million railcars at any given time would hurt the factories, farms, ports and local economies that rely on speedy and consistent rail service.

Please consider joining this freight rail industry grassroots effort urging the STB to reject the proposed rule on forced access. To view more information and sign the letter, please click here.
Industry News and Updates
On February 23, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Administrator Amit Bose announced that it is "looking for more input from states" on ways to expand safe and reliable transportation options now and in the future. Bose made the comments during the four-day American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Council (AASHTO)'s legislative meeting in DC. "We are looking at how we can best support states as well as benefit from your experience and knowledge...to advance clean, safe, and equitable rail service for all Americans is a collective effort" said Bose. Bose also mentioned that state department transportation input would be "paramount" throughout the implementation of the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

On February 23, The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) Maritime Administration announced nearly $450 million in newly available grant funding for port-related projects through the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) The grants can help ports expand capacity and improve the movement of goods through US supply chains. PIDP grants are awarded on a competitive basis to support projects that will improve the movement of goods to, through and around ports. The grant applications are due May 16. Please click here for more information.

On February 15, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) held a hearing, and during the hearing Federal Railroad Administrator (FRA) Amit Bose testified on behalf of Amtrak's application seeking to restore passenger rail service along the Gulf Coast. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law reaffirms the importance of passenger rail, and provides unprecedented funding and authority to maintain, improve, and expand intercity passenger rail service throughout the United States. The expansive vision for intercity passenger rail development set forth in it rests largely on the ability to introduce, improve, and restore passenger rail services that operate over host railroads" said Bose. To view the full testimony, please click here.

On February 4, the White House signed an executive order that would require large federally funded projects to use project labor agreements. The move would cover all work directly funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). By requiring the use of project labor agreements (PLAs) on federal construction projects above $35 million, the Order will help alleviate the management and coordination challenges that can stymie progress on major construction projects. This helps projects get completed on time and helps the government get the best value for taxpayers’ dollars. Based on FY2021 figures, this Order could affect $262 billion in federal government construction contracting and improve job quality for the nearly 200,000 workers on federal construction contracts. 
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