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In This Issue:

Washington Update

Railway Interchange 2023

REMSA 2023 Innovation Award

REMSA Supplier Showcase at NAMRC BNSF Night

REMSA Board Member of the Quarter

Grassroots Program

Member & Industry News

New REMSA Members

Upcoming Industry Events

Business Briefing: Rail Infrastructure Modernization for Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico

March 22, 2023

ASLRRA Annual Conference and Exhibition

April 2-4, 2023

Railroad Day on Capitol Hill

May 17, 2023

Railway Interchange

October 1-4, 2023

Washington Update

The Surface Transportation Board conditionally approved a merger between Canadian Pacific Railway and Kansas City Southern on March 15. The first major rail merger in 25 years, it will create the only railroad linking Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Conditions include a seven-year period of oversight and extensive data reporting requirements.

On March 9, President Biden unveiled the highlights of his FY 2024 Budget. The White House will release detailed appendix and agency justifications on March 15 that will include more official information. Some highlights of President Biden’s FY 2024 budget request include:

  • $4.8 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration
  • $3.1 billion for Amtrak, which when combined with $4.4 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) advance appropriations, will support Amtrak’s continued operations across the Northeast Corridor and National Network at a total of over $7.5 billion
  • $1.5 billion for rail infrastructure and safety improvements,
  • Including: $850 million to improve grade crossings and $560 million for intercity passenger rail grants
  • $1.2 billion for the National Infrastructure Project Assistance (Mega) discretionary grant program, which supports large, complex projects that are difficult to fund by other means and presents a unique opportunity for DOT to invest in the Nation’s surface transportation infrastructure.

On March 9, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Hearing titled “Protecting Public Health and the Environment in the Wake of the Norfolk Southern Train Derailment and Chemical Release in East Palestine, Ohio.” Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw was a key witness on the panel. Shaw begin his testimony by apologizing and reiterating that NS will make this situation right and are committed to being on the ground and involved as long as it takes. The hearing at times was contentions and partisan, as Democrats tried to pin Shaw down on specific commitments to rail safety measures and making the impacted communities whole, while Republicans continued to attack the Biden administration’s and EPA’s response to the accident. Shaw is also likely to be a witness at an upcoming March 22 Senate Commerce Committee hearing.

On March 1, Senators JD Vance (R-OH), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), along with Marco Rubio (R-FL), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Jon Fetterman (D-PA) introduced legislation, The Railway Safety Act of 2023. The bill will take a number of key steps to improve rail safety protocols, such as enhancing safety procedures for trains carrying hazardous materials, establishing requirements for wayside defect detectors, creating a permanent requirement for railroads to operate with at least two-person crews, increasing fines for wrongdoing committed by rail carriers, and more. To read the full bill, please click here. The bill has picked up support from President Biden, and Secretary Buttigieg. The bill will next head to a markup, potentially sometime in April.

Additionally, on March 2, the AAR announced that all seven major North American freight railroads have agreed to join FRA’s whistleblower systems, following a request from DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg to do so. This follows the February 23, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chair Jennifer Homendy hearing on the board's preliminary report of it's investigation into the February 3 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. "We call these things accidents, but there is no accident," she said. "Every single event that we investigate is preventable," she continued. The NTSB's goals for this hearing, and future ones, are to inform the public, collect factual information from witnesses, discuss possible solutions, and build consensus for change, Homendy added. The NTSB's preliminary report on the derailment can be read here.

On February 28, FRA issued a non-binding safety advisory to railroads, asking them to examine how they use and maintain detectors along tracks that can alert train crew of an overheating wheel bearing. Specifically, FRA is recommending that railroads evaluate the thresholds for inspections based on hot bearing detector data and improve employee training on the "calibration, inspection, and maintenance" of those detectors, among other tasks. The safety advisory comes on top of several other demands DOT has made of the railroads in recent days, none of which are binding.

Read the Washington Update on our website

Railway Interchange 2023

There is still space available to exhibit in the REMSA hall at Railway Interchange! Railway Interchange will take place in Indianapolis, October 1-4, 2023. Submit the REMSA Railway Interchange 2023 Indoor Exhibit Space Application and Contract to reserve your space. 

Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

Registration and the hotel room block will open in mid-April. Stay tuned for more event updates soon.

Learn More

REMSA 2023 Innovation Award

Nominations are now open for the 2023 REMSA Innovation Award. Recognize your technology or equipment that is revolutionizing the industry.

Applications are due by May 26. Winners will be announced at Railway Interchange 2023, winners will receive a credit for a 10x10' booth at a future event.

Learn more and apply

REMSA Supplier Showcase at NAMRC BNSF Night

REMSA hosted the first ever Supplier Showcase in a new partnership with the North American Maintenance Railway Club last week in Omaha. 11 exhibitors showcased their company and products to NAMRC and Union Pacific attendees.

The next Supplier Showcase will take place at BNSF Night in Fort Worth, TX on May 25. Don't miss your opportunity to show off your products or services, and attend the NAMRC dinner.

Registration will open soon. Learn more on our website, and contact Heidi Baker if you have questions.

Board Member of the Quarter

Mike Pier, Vice President & General Manager Roadway Work Equipment, Nordco, a Wabtec Company

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What do you enjoy most about being on the REMSA Board?

Working together as 1-team to bring our membership and customers closer together while advocating for the growth of the industry.

What has your experience on REMSA Board taught you and what is your vision for the future of REMSA?

Besides being able to meet and work alongside some great leaders, I have gained a real appreciation for why organizations like REMSA are so important for the future growth of the industry. REMSA has a rich history of advocating for the greater good of the industry, our members, and customers. I look for that to continue for years to come.


How did you get started in the rail industry?

I started as a Design Engineer for Nordco back in 2007. Prior to Nordco I worked as an Engineer designing pieces of high-speed printing presses.


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

So many things to love about my time at Nordco, now Wabtec, and working in this industry but for me it comes down to PEOPLE and PRODUCTS. Great PEOPLE working on great PRODUCT Innovations to help our customers run more efficient and safer.


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

My wife and I have always enjoyed exploring our National Parks. Also enjoy golfing, cooking, and just hanging out with the kids.


How do you define the “future” of rail? Where do you think the industry is headed?

I think that Rail has a bright past and a brighter future. Rail is already considered a safe, efficient, and green way to transport goods and I would look for this to continue. I expect to see a steady release of innovate solutions to help make the industry safer and more reliable.

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Business Briefing: Rail Infrastructure Modernization for Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico

Wednesday, March 22, 2023 | 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. CST | Omni Chicago Hotel

USTDA will host a business briefing in Chicago on March 22 for U.S. companies to learn about opportunities in Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico relating to new rail sector projects and modernization of existing rail infrastructure.

Registration required: Learn more

REMSA Grassroots Program

Learn more about grassroots events

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. This program highlights REMSA members' products and services throughout the industry and to members of Congress, which helps to advance REMSA's legislative agenda in Washington.

If you are interested in hosting a grassroots event at your facility please reach out to Mike McGonagle at

Member News

REMSA members Geismar North America, Loram Maintenance of Way, Orgo-Thermit, Pandrol, Plasser American, RailWorks, and Vossloh featured in supplier news (Progressive Railroading)

REMSA members Vancer, RCE Equipment Solutions, Progress Rail, and Aspen Equipment, featured in supplier news (Progressive Railroading)

REMSA members LB Foster, voestalpine Railway Systems Nortrak, and Koppers featured in supplier news (Progressive Railroading)

Service Trucks International introduces new body lineup

Industry News

Canadian Pacific-Kansas Southern merger: Federal board approves freight rail merger (Politico) | STB approves Canadian Pacific-Kansas City Southern merger (Progressive Railroading) | CPKC Merger Approved (Railway Age)

Ohio AG sues Norfolk Southern over train derailment (Progressive Railroading)

Biden's budget calls for more rail-safety funding; US mayors endorse Railway Safety Act (Progressive Railroading)

Welcome New REMSA Members!

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Warwood Tool: Forging hand tools for almost 170 years. In that time we have learned much about how to produce consistent, high-quality tools which are built to serve the heavy industrial application of the Railroad, Construction, and Mining industries. Our forged track tool series meet all of the latest in AREMA specifications and are forged from 9260B steel that we sourced from a USA mill (Gerdau).

Highlight your company and broaden your audience with a banner or tile ad on the REMSA website. Discounted rates are available for REMSA members.

Learn more

Contact us

If you have any member news, industry tips, questions or comments, please share with us: 


Phone: (202) 844-6026


80 M Street SE

Suite 100

Washington, DC 20003

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