On August 10th the Senate overcame its filibuster rules to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the months-long bipartisan effort on infrastructure that provides $550 billion in new funding for roads, bridges, and rail, by a vote of 69-30.
In addition to the new funding, the bill also includes bipartisan Senate bills that reauthorize the programs in the FAST Act, 2015's five-year surface transportation bill, slated to expire at the end of September. The bill has been sent to the House, where they'll need to either vote on the legislation as-is or, if they make any changes, send it back to the Senate once again. House leadership plans on pairing the vote with a vote on the giant $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package that the Senate is still working on, despite a slim majority and threats from both the left and center of the House Democratic Caucus to withhold votes on either bill. If a vote on the IIJA should fail, a short-term extension of the surface transportation programs can be expected.
Jennifer Homendy was sworn in as Chairwoman for the National Transportation Safety Board. Homendy, who previously served as the Staff Director for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, has served on the NTSB since 2018.
If you are interested in learning more about REMSA's government affairs efforts, please reach out to Cooper Ehrendreich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Booth sales, registration & housing for the
2022 NRC Conference & NRC-REMSA Exhibition are now open!
The 2022 NRC-REMSA Exhibition will take place January 5-6, 2022 at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, AZ in conjunction with the 2022 NRC Conference, which will run January 5-8, 2022.
For questions regarding the NRC-REMSA Exhibition and reserving your booth, please contact Urszula Soucie at email@example.com
or (202) 844-6026.
For questions regarding the NRC Conference, registration, hotel, sponsorship, etc. please contact Mike McGonagle at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 975-0365.
Director of Business Development
Passenger & Emerging Technologies
Transportation Technology Center, Inc.
How did you get started in the rail industry?
I started as a Terminal Trainmaster (Transportation Manager) at Norfolk Southern. It was a great learning experience. I was 23 years old managing over 100 train and engine employees from Cincinnati to Columbus, OH. Through those Midwest winters I also gained an appreciation for snow cleats.
What do you love most about your job/the rail industry?
I enjoy helping companies bring their emerging and cutting-edge technology to market for the rail industry. This helps our railroads become safer and more efficient. Additionally, I help passenger agencies solve complex problems with the help of our highly skilled engineering teams and industry leading testing facilities.
I was drawn to the industry early by riding an Amtrak train with my class in second grade. The evolution of technology and the friendships with other rail professionals is what keeps me in this industry.
What do you find yourself doing most in your downtime? Hobbies outside of work?
I enjoy grilling, spending time with family, biking, reading, and walking my dog.
How do you define the "future" of rail? Where do you think the industry is headed?
The future of rail is safer, greener, and more efficient. I'm happy to see investments in green infrastructure, such as electric locomotives.
I foresee more high-speed rail options for the "too far to drive, too close to fly" models, such as Charlotte to Atlanta. I also foresee more nontraditional ways of moving freight on rail networks.
What do you enjoy most about being part of the association (REMSA)?
I enjoy networking and working with a diverse group of professionals. The companies involved in REMSA support the backbone of railroading - maintenance-of-way.
Anything else you would like to add/share?
I enjoy working in the railroad industry. I'm able to travel to amazing places worldwide to ride systems, and I'm able to work with a stellar group of professionals. I enjoy the work that I'm involved in at TTCI. We serve the needs of the rail industry to become safer and more technologically advanced.
Each month, REMSA features one of its members in the rail industry as our Member of the Month. If you are interested in participating or nominating someone your company, please email email@example.com
| Help REMSA represent suppliers by taking our brief policy survey|
One of REMSA's goals is to effectively represent our membership and advocate for policies that support rail suppliers and the maintenance-of-way industry. Please take just a couple minutes to complete our survey so that we can ensure our advocacy efforts are up to date and in line with your needs by clicking here.
|REMSA Undergraduate Scholarship Recipients
REMSA congratulates the recipients of this year's undergraduate scholarship program!
President's Scholarship Recipient ($6,000)
James Albert Hotzel
Individual Scholarship ($4,000)
Kansas State University
Sponsoring Company: Stella Jones Corporation
| Join Michigan State University's Center for Railway Research and Education for a one week Railway Engineering and Technology module
Join Michigan State University for the week-long Railway Engineering and Technology module September 13-17, 2021.
This week is designed to give non-technical people an overview of key technologies and engineering principles for progress in a railroad career. The program will also cover motive power and alternative fuels as well as critical concepts such as the wheel to rail interface.
The program includes two days on-site at TTC where participants will hear from subject matter experts and visit some of the laboratories, test tracks and facilities.
Register now for a virtual career fair for engineering professionals on Thursday, September 23rd, hosted by REMSA and Naylor's engineering partners.
The fair will take place from 11:00am to 2:00pm ET. More information can be found at REMSA's jobseekers page
|REMSA Grassroots Program: Congressman Bob Latta (OH-5) visits REMSA member Hiab USA
Congressman Bob Latta (OH-5) observes some of Hiab USA's products at their facility in Perrysburg, Ohio (photo via Hiab)
On Thursday, August 12th, Congressman Bob Latta (OH-05) visited REMSA member company Hiab USA's National Support Center in Perrysburg, Ohio for a tour of their facility and discussion about Hiab's business operations and products.
"I appreciated the opportunity to tour the Hiab USA facility in Perrysburg and see a demonstration of their operations and highly adaptable equipment up close," said Congressman Bob Latta (OH-05). "As the representative of a district with more than 60,000 manufacturing jobs, it's important to see the critical role that Ohio workers play in our nation's economy. In this case, Hiab services a wide range of customers that help ensure that countless industries can get products from point A to point B."
Hiab was founded in 1944 building hydraulic cranes and celebrated its 75
th anniversary in 2020. Today they have a number of product lines including knuckle-boom cranes, material handler loaders, truck mounted forklifts, and more. Read the full press release from the event here.
REMSA's Grassroots Program connects our association's membership with members of Congress to host tours and site visits of company facilities and ongoing projects. It's a terrific way to showcase the positive impact that your company has in the local community, while also building strong personal relationships with your elected representatives. We will also take the initiative to engage with local and regional media outlets to highlight your company and maximize the visibility of the great work that you are doing.
Are you interested in growing your network and highlighting your products and services to the rail industry? Please contact Cooper Ehrendreich at firstname.lastname@example.org
to get started.
It didn't take long for Kansas City Southern's board to consider Canadian Pacific's sweetened merger offer. Just two days after CP presented the higher bid, KCS' board determined it doesn't constitute a "superior proposal" to CN's competing bid and could not reasonably be expected to lead to a superior proposal. (Progressive Railroading)
The League of Railway Women
(LRW) is seeking nominations for the 2021 Railway Woman of the Year award, which is co-sponsored by Progressive Railroading. Since 1998, the annual award has honored a woman who exhibits leadership and excellence, and supports the personal and professional growth of others in the rail industry. (Progressive Railroading)
Will visual inspection of track diminish over time? CN and CSX want to find out
Two notices in the Federal Register last week announce that Canadian National and CSX both petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in July for the extension of previous approval that allows both railroads to temporarily suspend some visual track inspections. This will provide an opportunity for both railroads to further test the effectiveness of automated track inspection technologies. (RT&S)
As infrastructure legislation progresses through Congress, dozens of local leaders issued a letter last week to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Surface Transportation Board Chairman Martin Oberman and Federal Railroad Administration Deputy Administrator Amit Bose to underscore why rail policy should support and preserve a healthy freight-rail system. (Progressive Railroading)
FRA issues final rule on revised PTC reporting
Effective Aug. 26, 2021, the Federal Railroad Administration is revising regulations governing changes to Positive Train Control (PTC) systems and reporting on PTC system performance. "Recognizing that the railroad industry intends to enhance FRA-certified PTC systems to continue improving rail safety and PTC technology's reliability and operability (so-called "PTC. 2.0"), FRA is modifying the process by which a host railroad must submit a request for amendment (RFA) to FRA before making certain changes to its PTC Safety Plan (PTCSP) and FRA-certified PTC system," FRA said in the Rulemaking (downloadable below) issued July 27. (Railway Age)
Shailen P. Bhatt joins AECOM's global transportation business
Infrastructure consulting firm AECOM
has appointed Shailen P. Bhatt to is global transportation business. He will join the business effective Aug. 30. Bhatt most recently served as president and CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), an association based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to advancing the deployment of new technologies, such as connected and automated vehicles. (Canadian Consulting Engineer)
Earlier this year, Focused Technology Solutions Inc.
released PowerForce, a battery-powered generator. Unlike gas generators, the PowerForce uses standard batteries instead of gas. Despite its small size, the PowerForce can provide 120 volts of battery power at any time. "The PowerForce is not only a game-changer for many different industries including rail, but it's also helping to make our environment clean," said Focused Technology Solutions President Peter Bartek in a press release. (Progressive Railroading)
Thomas Rechner, CAM practice/construction observation resident project representative, recently rejoined Hanson Professional Services Inc. Working at the headquarters in Springfield, Illinois, he will provide construction management and construction observation for all phases of the new Springfield-Sangamon County Transportation Center, the first phase of which is building the Sangamon Mass Transit District transfer center. Amtrak trains will serve the transportation center. (Progressive Railroading)
Pettibone has introduced X-Command, a new telematics program available for the company's X-Series telehandlers, Cary-Lift pipe and pole handlers, and Speed Swing rail maintenance machines. The system offers real-time access to machine data, thereby saving time, money and hassle for equipment owners, fleet managers, rental centers and maintenance technicians. (RT&S)
RTD maintenance of way team makes record repair despite heat, holiday
On July 2, a Regional Transportation District (RTD) light rail train encountered low-hanging wires near Dayton Station in Aurora, caused by a failed insulator. The pantograph on top of the train hooked the sagging wire, pulling it down and causing significant damage to the line's overhead catenary system (OCS) system in that location. The downed lines impacted service for the H and R light rail lines. (RT&S)