November 2019 NRC Bulletin
November 27, 2019
Wishing you all a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday
NRC Updates and Announcements

Sponsorship Opportunities Available
The NRC offers its members general and event sponsorships at the NRC Conference. Many popular sessions and events are still available. Click  here  for a list of available sponsorships. Contact Mike McGonagle at to discuss open opportunities!

Don't Forget Golf Hole Sponsorships for the NRC Golf Tournament are still available. Golf hole sponsorships are $250/hole. You'll receive your company logo on tee box signage that over 280 Golf Tournament attendees will see! Contact Mike McGonagle at for opportunities to reserve this sponsorships today!

Golf and Whale Watching
Golf - The NRC 2020 Golf Tournament will be the afternoon of Tuesday, January 7th. To register please sign up when you register for the  conference  or complete this  form   and email it to the NRC Staff at . All golfers must be registered for the conference.

Whale Watching - The NRC 2020 Whale Watching Excursion will be the afternoon of Tuesday, January 7th. It will be peak season to see gray, finback, and even blue whales on their southern migration down to Mexico. Sign up when you register for the conference  here  or please fill out this form and send it to NRC staff at . All participants must be registered for the conference.

Hotel Waiting Room List
If you would like to be added to the waiting list for a sleepting room at the Hotel Del Coronado, please email Mike McGonagle at with your desired check-in and check-out dates.
FRA Part 243 Training Standards Rule Deadlines Extended

On November 22nd, 2019, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced that in response to a petition for rulemaking, the FRA proposes amending its regulation on Training, Qualification, and Oversight for Safety-Related Railroad Employees by delaying the regulation's implementation dates for all contractors, and those Class II and III railroads that are not intercity commuter passenger railroads with 400,000 total employee work hours annually or more. Full text of the notice in the Federal Register can be found  here.

With adoption of this proposed rule, contractors will now have until May 1, 2021 to submit a training program to FRA instead of the previous January 1, 2020 deadline which was applicable to railroads (regardless of whether they were Class II or III railroads), and contractors with 400,000 annual employee work hours or more. 

The NRC, in conjunction with the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), issued a joint petition to the FRA on June 27, 2019 to amend elements of the Part 243 rule to make it less onerous to our contractor members and to extend the implementation deadline while the FRA reviews the petition and the requested changes

Also of note, the FRA's Part 243 expert, Rob Castiglione, plans to be at the NRC Conference to deliver a Part 243 update during the general session on Sunday, January 5 in the afternoon. Mr. Castiglione will also be holding a more in-depth breakout session on Monday, January 6 in the afternoon.

The NRC has developed training templates approved by the FRA to help our members comply the new training standards. These templates are available to NRC members only.Please reach out to reach to Mike McGonagle of the NRC at or 202-975-0365 for questions or more info.
NRC Receives Shout-out at House T&I Hearing

On November 13th, 2019 the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials held a hearing on the status of Amtrak.

During the hearing, Ranking Member of the T&I Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, Rep. Rick Crawford (AR-01) mentioned the NRC directly, and posed a question to one of the witnesses, on the pros and cons of contracting out. NRC Member Herzog was described by the panelist as "an extension of staff," and the witness touted their "partnership approach."

To view the footage, please visit the following link:  
Spokane Airport Board Seeks SOQ for Rail-Truck Transload Facility Project

The Spokane Airport Board is requesting Statements of Qualifications from qualified consulting firms or teams of firms for planning, environmental, and engineering services related to Spokane International Airport's (SIA) Rail-Truck Transload Facility Project. SOQs will be received by the Spokane Airport Board at Spokane International Airport, 9000 West Airport Drive #204, Spokane, WA, 99224, until 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, December 17, 2019. Click here to find more information, and here for the official notice.
LA Metro Seeks Contractor to Develop Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Authority (LA Metro) last week issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking a contractor to assist in early stages of development of the Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project. The RFP calls for pre-development work and planning a fixed guideway transit line connecting the San Fernando Valley to the Westside, and ultimately connecting to LA International Airport. Click here for more information on the project, and click here for the LA Metro vendor portal.
BUILD Grant Winners Announced, F reight and Transit Rail Projects Received $96.8 million

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced on Nov 12 th , 2019 that the Trump Administration will invest up to $900 million in American infrastructure through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants program. The goal according to Secretary Chao is “to repair, rebuild, and revitalize significant infrastructure projects across the country.” All in all, rail-related projects (which refers mostly to freight rail projects) were awarded $48 million out of the $883 million for the FY19 program. Digging deeper, the numbers state that the $84.6 million allotted to transit projects includes $48.8 million going to rail-related transit projects.

All in all, freight and transit rail projects received $96.8 million in Discretionary Grant funding!

Graph Source: Eno Transportation
Industry News
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) proposed earlier this month a rulemaking would require 40 states and DC to develop action plans or update existing ones to make grade crossings safer. The rule intends to reduce accidents at grade crossings. Comments on the proposed rule are due Jan. 6, 2020 .

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced earlier this month announced the availability of $24 million in grant funds aimed at initiating, restoring, or enhancing intercity passenger-rail service. Amtrak, other intercity passenger rail groups, and other government entities are all eligible to apply. The applications are due January 6 th , 2020. Please click here for link to the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) in the Federal Register.

Two of the largest rail industry suppliers announced earlier this month acquisitions, both of which are expanding each company’s track work portfolios. Progress Rail announced the purchase of Cleveland Track Material (CTM) from Vossloh. CTM has been a major supplier since 1983 to Class I and transit railroads. Loram completed its purchase of Aurizon Operations Ltd, thus increasing Loram’s business portfolio in Australia. 

Regional Rail, LLC, a short-line owner and operator announced on October 31, 2019 that it has agreed to acquire Pinsly Railroad Co.’s Florida operations; which encompasses 208 miles of track. The deal, subject to approval by the Surface Transportation Board’s approval, includes the operations for Florida Central Railroad, the Florida Midland Railroad, and the Florida Northern Railroad. The Railroads, which are located around Orlando and Tampa, provide freight transportation, transload and rail-car storage services to over 65 “blue-chip” companies. 
The NRC is a trade association representing businesses from across the nation in the rail construction and maintenance field. The NRC’s member companies 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.
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