|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.
USMCA Enters Implementation Phase, Congress Works on Three COVID-19 Response Bills
Before ending their legislative session early due to COVID-19
concerns, the Canadian parliament quickly passed the USMCA trade agreement on March 13th, becoming the final country to do so.
Now, a three month implementation phase will begin, and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has indicated that he hopes the deal will officially take effect on June 1st.
The first phase of a COVID-19 relief program for the US economy, which included $8.3 billion in funding for vaccine development, research, equipment, and Medicare payments for telehealth coverage, was signed into law by President Trump last week after quickly moving through Congress.
The second phase, which was signed into law on March 18th, includes paid sick leave, food aid, testing for the virus, and tax credits for small businesses. Early discussions of a third and likely Senate-led relief bill indicate that it could reach as high as $1 trillion.
House Transportation & Infrastructure Rail Subcommittee Chairman Daniel Lipinski (IL-03) introduced four rail related bills on March
which focused on blocked crossings, grade separations, quiet zones, and Chicago's Union Station. More detail about each of those bills can be viewed
The DOT will continue to accept applications for the $1 billion
Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program until May 18th.
If you are interested in learning more about REMSA's government affairs efforts, please reach out to Cooper Ehrendreich
Railroad Day on Capitol Hill Recap
This year's Railroad Day on Capitol Hill 2020 took place on March 4, 2020.
More than 50 REMSA members came to D.C. to participate in the more than 300 meetings scheduled on Capitol Hill and advocate for legislative issues of importance to the rail industry. Thank you to all those who attended, and we hope to see many REMSA members join us again next year!
Resources from the Small Business Administration
One of the missions of the US Small Business Administration (SBA) is to aid in the economic recovery of small businesses in the aftermath of disasters.
Through a number of assistance programs, the agency approved more than 63,500 loans to small businesses in 2019. Additional federal funding was provided to the SBA by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020, which became law earlier this month.
More information about the SBA's response to the Coronavirus is available
Small businesses impacted by the Coronavirus can apply for disaster relief loans through the SBA
REMSA Announces 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Program
REMSA is excited to announce its 2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Program. This year REMSA is awarding one President's Scholarship in the amount of $7,500 as well as one $5,000 runner-up scholarship, and one individual scholarship at $2,500.
The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, May 29, 2020.
REMSA Announces Partnership, Webinar with Stahl Recruiting
Do you know what your digital footprint is saying to your career network and potential employers? Looking to gain more career opportunities from your online profiles?
Join REMSA and Stahl Recruiting for the first in the REMSA/Stahl career webinar series on
Wednesday, April 15 at 2PM EST/1PM CST.
Dustin Martin, Vice President at East West Bank will host "LinkedIn and Your Career: Managing Your Digital Footprint to Attract Opportunities," in which he will discuss methods of managing your professional digital image to acquire new connections and career opportunities in your field.
See Stahl Recruiting's North American Rail Industry site
for more information and resources.
REMSA Student at Innotrans Career Award Recipient Announced
REMSA congratulates Eric Malarkey, an Engineering student at Thomas Nelson Community College, on being selected to attend this year's Innotrans conference in Berlin, Germany!
Susan Bobb, Vice President, Human Resources, Labor Relations, Safety and Facilities
Loram Maintenance of Way, Inc.
How did you get started in the rail industry?
I was working for Telus in Calgary, Alberta Canada and got a call from a headhunter asking if I was interested in joining Canadian Pacific Railway. The CP head office was moving to Calgary from Montreal and apparently, I had an IT systems skillset that the railroad needed to maintain and build e-commerce applications. I recall thinking at the time that I had never thought of the railroad as a potential employment opportunity. I was intrigued, so began my awesome railroad career.
What do you love most about your job/the rail industry?
I love that I only want to work in this great industry. It is because of the myriad number of roles and opportunities that this industry has provided me over the past 25+ years that I wouldn't work anywhere else. To be more specific, the hard-working men and women of the railroad are pretty darn awesome. The opportunities and results I was able to be a part of, through individual contributions and the work of so many great people and teams, took me from the railroad to Loram Maintenance of Way. Although I miss the great people of the CP, the opportunity to work with a world class manufacturer and operator of rail maintenance equipment was one I just could not pass up. Making the change from a publicly traded company to a private one was more of a transition than going from customer to MOW contractor. I am very fortunate to be one of many leaders at Loram, a family oriented, safety minded company with employees that take pride in their work while embracing the natural changes that come with building and operating in the 21
What is it like being a woman in a primarily male dominated industry?
From my very first job at the railroad I felt like this was an industry that recognized individuals for hard work and leadership rather than concerning themselves with gender first. I think growing and developing one's career in a primarily male dominated industry may be a different experience for different women. For me, this industry continues to provide extremely rewarding experiences while working with very experienced, dedicated and talented railroaders, men and women.
What do you find yourself doing most in your downtime? Hobbies outside of work?
Anyone who knows me well (including my husband and four grown daughters) knows that my work is a very important part of my life and now that we are empty nesters, my husband and I are trying out all sorts of different hobbies. However, the one we enjoy the most is helping our girls from recipes, home maintenance, to work challenges, and most times - great sounding boards (thank goodness for Google).
How do you define the "future" of rail? Where do you think the industry is headed?
The future of rail will see the introduction of autonomous technologies that will have a significant impact on many roles of the railroad, like the locomotive engineers, that have managed the movement from the seat and not via systems only. These technologies will drive laser focus on safety while improving the experience of passengers and freight customers with even more efficient schedules while achieving those results with technology driven safety and security systems. The workforce will employ many more technologists than today; roles we have not even thought of yet and ones that will be pervasive throughout the industry. I think the "future" of rail will continue to provide a variety of opportunities and challenges for those who are seeking a rewarding career in an industry that has such a rich history.
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 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.
REMSA hosted 12 grassroots events with member companies in 9 states in 2019 and has several scheduled for the first few months of 2020. Press releases detailing past 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?
The Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association is partnering with exhibition
Messe Berlin to send two students to InnoTrans 2020 in the German capital on September 22-25. Each sponsorship package includes round trip travel, hotel accommodation for four nights, a daily travel allowance and a VIP ticket for the trade fair.
U.S. lawmakers from Kansas and Mississippi late last week announced federal Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program (CRISI) grants that have been awarded to railroads in their states.
U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) announced a $27 million grant that would help fund upgrades to the South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad
, used by rural shippers across the state to transport crops, minerals, chemicals, steel and other products.
U.S. lawmakers representing Colorado announced a $4 million federal grant to the city of Longmont for a grade crossing safety project, and a $225,000 grant awarded for a passenger-rail study. Both grants were awarded as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) CRISI program. Longmont will receive the $4 million in funding to create quiet zones and improve safety in the city. The total project cost is $8 million, with the city providing matching funds, according to a press release issued by U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet's (D-Colo.) office.
The Federal Railroad Administration
(FRA) has activated the agency's emergency relief docket in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the agency announced late last week.
FRA Administrator Ronald Batory determined that the imminent threat and exposure to the disease constitutes an "emergency situation" as related to railroad operations.
Activating the emergency relief docket means that railroads may request relief from FRA regulations related to the emergency, FRA officials said in its announcement.
Railroads are federally required to control vegetation on or next to railroad property and grade crossings. Weeds and overgrown trees are more than an eyesore, they're a safety hazard. Under track safety standards, the Federal Railroad Administration requires railroads to keep trees, plants and shrubs in check.
The first signs of physical progress have been made in BNSF Railway's long-awaited plan to build a second bridge, nearly a mile in length, running parallel to its existing bridge across Lake Pend Oreille near Sandpoint, Idaho. Preliminary grading began in September 2019 on both sides of the lake to prepare the approaches to the new bridge.
Rail industry vet David Freeman is joining Loram Holdings Inc.'s Board of Directors. Freeman's background includes 19 years of rail industry experience in engineering and operations roles with BNSF Railway.
Recently, Freeman served as BNSF Railway's Executive Vice President and focused on improving cost structure through technology, cost-efficiency and effectiveness.
AECOM recently added two industry veterans, Tom Prendergast and Denise Berger, to its leadership team. Both have assumed their new roles with the company and are based in New York City. Prendergast, Railway Age's 2017 Railroader of the Year, has more than 25 years of experience with the MTA, including as Chairman and CEO. He assumes a national role as head of Transit within the Design and Consulting Services Americas (DCSA). Berger, whose 32 years with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey culminated in serving as chief of operations with the Authority's Engineering Department, joins as COO of AECOM's Northeast Region.
Network Rail awards maintenance train service contract to Harsco (RT&S)
Harsco Corporation announced its Rail division has been awarded a three-year (with an optional two-year extension) mobile maintenance train service contract by Network Rail, the largest infrastructure manager of railway network in the United Kingdom. The contract, valued at approximately $25 million, calls for Harsco Rail to operate and maintain Network Rail's fleet of eight mobile maintenance trains. The contract is scheduled to begin in April 2020.
Danella Rental Systems acquires Aspen Equipment Company's rental division (RT&S)
Danella Rental Systems, Inc., based in Plymouth Meeting, PA, announced the acquisition of Aspen Equipment Company's rental division. For over 40 years, Danella has been the railroad industry's leading source of HiRail vehicles and construction rental equipment. Similarly, Aspen Equipment Company, based in Minneapolis, MN, has 4 decades in the railroad industry building high quality HiRail vehicles. Aspen Equipment will remain in the industry, focusing their resources on the production and service of new railroad truck equipment.
The L.B. Foster Flood Monitoring System is far more sophisticated than it looks at first glance. The simple design of the inline flood pole makes the technology appear more like a depth pole than what it truly is inside and out - a powerful, revolutionary wireless remote system.
ENSCO Rail, an international leader in advanced rail technology solutions for passenger, transit and freight markets, recently delivered its second Autonomous Track Geometry Measurement System (ATGMS) and
Autonomous Rail Profile Measurement System (ARPMS) to Brazilian logistics company Rumo S.A., the largest transport and logistics company in Latin America.