February 2021

Industry Events

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A message from REMSA regarding COVID-19:
The safety and well-being of the REMSA staff and our members is of the upmost importance to our association, and we want to urge all REMSA members, staff, and their families to take the proper precautions necessary to maintain their health, safety and well-being during this uncertain and unprecedented time. Railroads continue to operate and are critical in transporting essential supplies throughout the country to those in need.  Thank you to our railroad operators, the crews maintaining the rails, and all of our member company employees who are taking the measures they need to ensure the well-being of the country and world during this crisis.

REMSA Member-of the-Month Spotlight

Save the Date: Railway Interchange 2021

Industry News

Canada plans to invest billions in transit funding

Texas Central-the 'other' U.S. high-speed rail project

With 'Amtrak Joe' and a new Congress in D.C., rail industry leaders hope for action on surface transportation legislation

Virginia to host virtual 'rail industry day' for contractors

New York DOT solicits grant applications for rail, port projects

U.S. freight railroads log traffic gain in January

Member News

COVID Relief Working Through Congress, DOT Opens INFRA Grants 

After a bipartisan confirmation, new Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg made one of his first official actions as Secretary a visit to Washington's Union Station and spoke with front line workers and transit officials, a high-profile early visit to a major rail facility.

Congress is moving to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package through the budget reconciliation process, which would require only a simple majority in the Senate rather than the usual 60-vote threshold. The bill includes stimulus checks, extended federal unemployment benefits, and funding for vaccine distribution and COVID testing. The plan also includes $20 billion for transit agencies. The House may consider the bill by the end of next week, and Congress is hoping to pass it by March 14th to prevent a lapse in unemployment benefits.  

The Department of Transportation announced that it's seeking applicants for the FY2021 Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program. Grant awards for small projects start at $5 million and for larger projects awards start at $25 million. The program has a total of $889 million in funding for the year. More information can be found here.

If you are interested in learning more about REMSA's government affairs efforts, please reach out to Cooper Ehrendreich at ehrendreich@remsa.org.

two-yearRenew Your 2 Year REMSA Membership Today & Save 10%

Opt-in for the 2-year membership dues renewal and save 10% each year!

Membership Dues are normally $675 per calendar year. This offer saves $135 and your company dues will be valid through December 2022.

If you chose not to take advantage of this discount, no problem. Your company's member dues for 2021 will be automatically invoiced for one year only at the $675 price - a rate which REMSA has not increased since 1999.

Contact Madeleine Stern at stern@remsa.org with any questions or to take advantage of this offer.
stahlwebinarREMSA Webinar Series

REMSA's webinar series continues in 2021 with a new International Mini Series. 

If you missed the first in the series, "Overview of the Mexican Rail Sector" with guest speaker Alejandro Álvarez-Reyes, you can find it and all of our webinars with Stahl Recruiting here.

Coming soon: guest Stephen Pauling will join REMSA for "Planning Multi-Billion-Dollar Mega-Rail Projects in the UK: Relevant Lessons for North America" at 2:00pm ET on March 16th.  

Keep an eye on the REMSA events calendar for details on upcoming webinars!

Is there a topic you would like covered in future webinars? Contact stern@remsa.org to share your ideas. 

Tim Henrich
National Sales Manager, Service Trucks International

How did you get started in the rail industry?

STI has had indirect involvement in this industry over the years. In 2019, we decided to join REMSA and join forces with these great folks.

What do you love most about your job/the rail industry?

The unique projects. I'm always amazed at the equipment needs of the rail industry.

What do you find yourself doing most in your downtime? Hobbies outside of work?

I love the outdoors. From throwing ball outside with the kids to camping, hiking, and hunting.

How do you define the "future" of rail? Where do you think the industry is headed?
Everything we use daily at home and work is somehow touched by rail.  As oil prices resume to normal levels, rail will continue to be a cost-effective way of moving goods around the country.

What do you enjoy most about being part of REMSA?

The organization has allowed us to connect directly with rail customers.

Anything else you would like to add/share?
We are very excited to exhibit at the 2021 show this year.


Interested in being highlighted in the REMSA spotlight? Apply to become Member-of-Month. 

Contact Madeleine Stern, Director of Marketing, Membership & Trade Shows to apply today at: stern@remsa.org or (202) 715-2919.

RIstdSave the Date: Railway Interchange 2021 

REMSA is now taking booth reservations for Railway Interchange 2021 exhibit space.

Due to the current situation, REMSA will not be assigning exact floor space, but will be taking space reservation requests. More information on booth pricing, floor plans, Indiana Convention Center information, and much more will be available in the coming weeks.

Only REMSA member companies in good standing will have the opportunity to make space reservation requests during Round 1. Please check the status of your membership at www.remsa.org. Once a floor plan is finalized (complying with CDC and local guidelines at the time of the event*), those first round exhibitors will have the opportunity to select their exhibit space first.

Railway Interchange exhibitors receive a 10% discount to advertise on the REMSA website. Click here for more information.

GrassrootsREMSA Grassroots Program: Bring a Member of Congress to Your Company

The 117th Congress has more than 50 new members in the House of Representatives and 7 new Senators, making 2021 a terrific opportunity to host a REMSA grassroots event at your company.

REMSA has hosted nearly 50 grassroots events with member companies since the program was launched in 2015. Press releases detailing past events can be found 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 ehrendreich@remsa.org to get started.

IndustryNEWSIndustry News

IN1Canada plans to invest billions in transit funding
Transit funding has been a huge issue as a result of the pandemic. That, along with the general competition among transit agencies for limited funding has been a challenge in North America for some time. The CBC is reporting that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced a major funding initiative for the country's transit systems. (RT&S)

IN2Texas Central-the 'other' U.S. high-speed rail project
When it comes to high-speed rail in the U.S., the California High-Speed Rail Authority gets a lot of attention in the press. This is due in part to the fact that the CHSRA is a government-funded project, while the other big high-speed rail project in the U.S. - the Texas Central - is privately funded. We thought it would be worthwhile to cover some of the major milestones the Texas Central reached in 2020. (RT&S) 

in2.5With 'Amtrak Joe' and a new Congress in D.C., rail industry leaders hope for action on surface transportation legislation
A new Congress is in session and a new president is in office, and one who's a rail fan, no less. Those reasons are partly why many rail advocates are cautiously optimistic about the potential for major surface transportation legislation to pass on Capitol Hill this year - even as the nation's political leaders grapple with multiple crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic. (Progressive Railroading) 

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) and Virginia Railway Express (VRE) will host Virtual Rail Industry Day on Feb. 24. DRPT and VRE will present information on upcoming projects, solicitations and business opportunities. Attendance is open to contractors interested in participating in rail improvement projects in Virginia. (Progressive Railroading) 

in4New York DOT solicits grant applications for rail, port projects
Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday announced the availability of $87 million in state and federal funding for rail and port infrastructure improvement projects in New York. The New York State Department of Transportation is soliciting candidate projects for funding under the Passenger and Freight Rail Assistance Program (PFRAP) and Section 130 Railway-Highway Grade Crossing Program. (Progressive Railroading) 

newin6U.S. freight railroads log traffic gain in January
U.S. freight railroads hauled 2,103,523 carloads and intermodal units in January, a 5.3% increase compared with January 2020's traffic level, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data. U.S. railroads moved 930,303 carloads last month, down 2.1%, and 1,173,220 containers and trailers, up 12.1%. (Progressive Railroading)

in7Buttigieg confirmed as U.S. transportation secretary
The U.S. Senate yesterday voted 86-13 to confirm Pete Buttigieg as U.S. transportation secretary in President Joe Biden's administration. After the vote, several rail industry leaders offered statements of congratulations and praise for Buttigieg, who will oversee a federal department that employs about 55,000 people. The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is expected to play a major role in the Biden administration's efforts to combat climate change. (Progressive Railroading) 

in8CSX could begin construction on Boone tunnel widening in 2022
When railroads were built, clearance concerns were limited to boxcars, hopper cars, and other general freight cars. At the time, no one envisioned that one day, clearance would be required for containers and truck trailers sitting in well cars or on flat cars would require higher clearance than the original tunnels allowed.
MemberNEwsMember News

Industry veteran Robert Fletcher has Focused Technology Solutions (a Marmon/Berkshire Hathaway Company) as Sales Executive. A life-long AREMA member, Fletcher has spent more than 40 years in the rail and transit industry. He began his career building and servicing equipment at his family's rail equipment business. (Railway Age)
The Storm Wizard - a hi-rail truck offered by Geismar North America for fighting snow - is equipped with a cold-air blower mounted on the end of a boom that blows snow off switches and yard track at 300 mph.
Knox Kershaw Inc.'s KSF 940 Snow Fighter is designed to combat heavy snow and freezing temperatures. The machine features a 50,000-pound working weight, a large pressurized cab with a second operator's seat and joystick controls, and specially designed wings, a plow and broom for moving heavy snow.
Pettibone's Speed Swing 445F rail crane is now available with the CreepDrive™ system from Poclain Hydraulics. The optional feature enables the crane to accommodate high-flow hydraulic attachments and operate at a slower independent travel speed on or off the rails, Pettibone officials said. (Progressive Railroading) 

J.F. Brennan Company (Brennan) formally announces their Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(a) certified joint venture with Ahtna Marine & Construction Company, LLC (AMCC). Publicly titled the Ahtna - J.F. Brennan JV, the partnership establishes a mentor protégé relationship between Brennan and Alaska Native Corporation subsidiary AMCC. (Press Release) 

Diversified Product Development has established the RailWise™ brand to accommodate its growing line of products for the hi-rail market. The new brand encompasses several of Diversified's existing hi-rail products and will help clarify the company's focus as it expands its rail industry solutions. Established hi-rail maintenance products in the brand include platform truck, bucket truck, rail brake and trailer axle systems. (Progressive Railroading) 

mn7Batory joins R. J. Corman's board
Former Federal Railroad Administrator Ronald Batory has been appointed to R. J. Corman Railroad Group LLC's board. Prior to his service as FRA administrator in the Trump administration, Batory spent his entire 46-year career in the railroad industry. He retired from Consolidated Rail Corp. (Conrail) after more than 12 years as its president and chief operating officer. His career also includes a stint as president of the Belt Railway Co. of Chicago. (Progressive Railroading)