2020 Southwestern Rail Conference
January 23-24, 2020
San Diego, CA
Wisconsin Railroad Association- Freight Rail Day 2020
February 20 2020
Union Pacific Night
February 27, 2020
Railroad Day on Capitol Hill
March 4, 2020
Norfolk Southern Night
April 23, 2020
5-Year Extension of the 45G Short Line Tax Credit Finalized, USMCA to Be Signed Into Law Imminently
On December 20, a five-year extension of the Section 45G Short Line Tax Credit was signed into law as part of the larger year end appropriations bill, H.R. 1865. The credit, which allows for 50 cents per dollar invested in railroad track and bridge improvement up to $3,500 per mile, will retroactively cover 2018 and 2019 and cover three years going forward up to 2022.
The next step for advocacy on the Short Line Tax Credit is making it permanent, and this year's surface transportation negotiations represent the best possibility of achieving that. The BRACE (Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy) Act, the standalone legislation that would make the Short Line Tax Credit permanent, now has 299 House cosponsors which is an all time high.
The US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA), which passed the House in December, has also passed the Senate with an overwhelming 89-10 vote and awaits President Trump's signature to officially become law. Now that USMCA is through, Congressional business will slow down for a few weeks as the Senate takes up the impeachment trial.
The Department of Transportation has opened the window for applications for Infrastructure For Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program. Applications can be submitted until February 25th.
On February 5th, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials will hold a hearing titled "Tracking Toward Zero: Improving Grade Crossing Safety and Addressing Community Concerns"
Railroad Day on Capitol Hill, the rail industry's biggest day of advocacy before Congress, will be taking place this year on March 4th. See the section below for further details and registration information.
If you are interested in learning more about REMSA's government affairs efforts, please reach out to Cooper Ehrendreich
Registration for Railroad Day on Capitol Hill now open!
Railroad Day on Capitol Hill will take place on March 4, 2020.
For details, please visit the
the American Short Line And Regional Railroad Association's website.
Cooper Ehrendreich is the lead grassroots coordinator for REMSA, the Railway Engineering Maintenance-Suppliers Association. Previously Cooper was Press Assistant and Scheduler for Congressman Brian Higgins. His prior experience also includes policy analysis for D.C.-based government affairs firm the Bockorny Group. He held internships in the offices of Congressman Daniel Lipinski and Senator Chuck Schumer. He graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a B.A. in International Trade and a minor in Political Science.
How did you get started in the rail industry?
Miller Ingenuity was a client of a marketing/web agency that I previously worked with and when I moved on from my role within the agency, and Miller was no longer a client there, I was approached by the company to work full-time as their marketing communications specialist. I already had a great working relationship with everyone at Miller and knew the company well, so it was a great fit!
What do you love most about your job/the rail industry?
I love marketing in general because my day-to-day is never the same and I get to work with a great sales and marketing team. It's also typically hard to be creative in a B2B/industrial world, so I love the challenge of finding new ways to market to this industry.
The rail industry itself is very fascinating to me. I am still relatively new to the industry (this past fall marked 3 years) so I am still learning a lot! But I think what I love most is this sense of community within this industry, that I think is brought on by its rich history, that you don't really feel anywhere else.
What is it like being a woman in a primarily male dominated industry?
I've actually been asked this question a lot when people learn what industry I work in. I honestly don't really think about it. I'm not saying that it's not obvious when you attend a conference and you are one of maybe 10 women there, but it doesn't impact my work in any way. I think what it does do, is strengthen relationships with other women in the industry because we all want to lift each other up and see each other succeed. And hopefully our presence in the industry helps recruit more women to consider working in rail.
What do you find yourself doing most in your downtime? Hobbies outside of work?
I spend a lot of my downtime with my family. I have two energetic boys who are 5 and 3 and my husband and I love to take them anywhere, whether that is a local park or festival or even taking SEPTA into Philadelphia so we can walk around and check out the sites (they LOVE taking the train!). I also love to dance, and binge comedy shows on Netflix.
How do you define the "future" of rail? Where do you think the industry is headed?
I think the future of rail is innovation. This industry is typically one of tradition but recently it has seen an increase of innovative, technology products that enhance productivity, performance, safety and more. I think the industry is going to continue to embrace these new products to help build a stronger and safer foundation for its customers and employees.
Interested in being highlighted in the REMSA spotlight? Apply to become Member-of-Month.
Contact Madeleine Stern, Membership & Marketing Manager to apply today at:
or (202) 715-2919.
REMSA Reaches 1k+ Followers on LinkedIn!
Contact Madeleine Stern, Membership & Marketing Manager, with questions at:
or (202) 715-2919.
REMSA Grassroots Program
Bring a Member of Congress to Your Company!
The 116th Congress has more than 100 new members in the House of Representatives and 10 new Senators, making 2020 a terrific opportunity to host a REMSA grassroots event at your company.
In 2019, REMSA hosted 12 grassroots events with member companies in 9 states. Press releases detailing those events can be found
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?
AAR praised President Donald Trump's administration for its proposed
NEPA revisions aimed at speeding up the environmental review process for major infrastructure projects. "The proposed rule seeks to reduce unnecessary paperwork and delays, and to promote better decision-making consistent with NEPA's statutory requirements," according to a CEQ fact sheet. (Progressive Railroading)
"The Accelerating Innovative Mobility initiative will enhance the service, design, and financing of public transportation systems through forward-thinking and innovative practices," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. The AIM initiative includes $11 million in challenge grants to help transit agencies experiment with new ways of doing business, such as exploring new service models that provide more efficient and frequent service. The goal of the new service models is to encourage travelers to choose transit. FTA also will support outreach to both urban and rural areas in order to ensure widespread exposure to projects. (RT&S)
Metrolink yesterday marked the completion of a two-year construction project to rebuild its train station in Van Nuys, California.The $32 million project relocated the train platform to the double-tracked station's center to improve efficiency, and allow for more Metrolink and Amtrak service in the future, Metrolink officials said in a press release. (Progressive Railroading)
"Walking on the railroad tracks is considered trespassing - it's against the law," stated OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh. "This new PSA demonstrates, in a very compelling way, the potential dangers pedestrians put themselves in by being distracted and walking on or too close to the tracks." (Operation Lifesaver)
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced yesterday the approval of 26 freight-rail improvement projects, along with the state's share of the cost. "These investments underscore our continued commitment to building a world-class infrastructure system that supports the business community and the creation of new jobs," Wolf said in a press release.(Progressive Railroading)
Nationally, ridership increased by 2.20% compared to the third quarter of 2018, according to the quarterly "Transit Ridership Report" released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). This includes a rise of 5.46% for heavy rail, 4.38% for commuter rail systems, and 0.59% for all bus systems. (RT&S)
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has created a new pilot program to expedite long-term, low-cost loans for short-line and regional railroads, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced.
"This new financing program will strengthen the short-line and regional railroad system, promote economic growth in rural communities and boost America's economic competitiveness," said Chao in a press release
Emily Kay, Project Executive for Balfour Beatty was awarded the 2020 "Outstanding Women in Construction & Design" Award. She 25 years of industry experience. (Balfour Beatty)
Jeff Stone, VP Safety & Operations, GREX accepted the award, while Matt Rossing, Director of Environmental Health & Safety, accepted for Loram. The NRC Safety Awards seek to recognize NRC contractor members with strong workplace safety programs - and to honor that commitment to safety. (GREX- Georgetown Rail Equipment Company)
Ashley Wieland, President, NRC presented the award to the Herzog team. Herzog is p
roud to have outstanding safety personnel who continually stress the importance of safety in everything they do. Their top priority is that employees make it home to their families each day. (Herzog)
Loram Maintenance of Way finalized its deal to buy Aurizon's rail grinding business late in October. The purchase effectively increased Loram's number of rail grinding service customers by four in Australia, with the notable addition of all mainline and turnout rail grinding for Aurizon Network. "The top priorities following the transition are to build upon the success of our customers' rail grinding programs while building Loram's brand as a contract service provider. We will be listening to our customers' toughest maintenance challenges in order to provide innovative solutions," said Tom L. Smith, Loram Australia's director of business development. (Rail Express)
Miller Ingenuity was recently selected to supply ZoneGuard, their electronic roadway worker protection system, to two California transit agencies, San Diego Trolley and San Francisco Municipal Railway (MUNI). Additionally, ZoneGuard has been deployed on a track rebuild project in Lafayette, CA by a general engineering contractor, based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, to warn track workers and equipment operators of trains approaching on adjacent tracks. "These contracts are not only a great moment for our ZoneGuard team, but they are also a great win for roadway workers in California," said Kevin Smith, Senior Vice President Global Sales and Marketing. (Miller Ingenuity)
RailWorks and its family of companies achieved highest safety marks from the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC). "Safety is at the heart of all we do. The motivation to achieve and maintain a safe work environment is hard-wired in the DNA of all our employees. It is truly a privilege to be recognized by our peers for excellence in workplace safety" says Kevin Riddett, CEO of RailWorks. (Railworks)
Campián is a business development and finance leader with over 15 years of experience in maximizing ROI in the infrastructure, logistics, and transportation space."We are excited to have Alín join us at R. J. Corman. He is a highly talented individual who will be a great complement to our leadership team. Alín will work closely with our customers and management team to develop solutions for their needs as well as analyze traffic to create efficiencies for our company and customers. His experience will add value to our operations on multiple levels," said Ray Goss, R. J. Corman Railroad Company President (RJ Corman Railroad Group)