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In This Issue:


REMSA Undergraduate Scholarship and Innovation Award


Washington Update


REMSA Member of the Month: Matt Violin, NARSTCO


REMSA Grassroots Program


Member & Industry News


Upcoming Industry Events


RSSI C&S Exhibition

May 16-18, 2022


International Level Crossing Awareness Day

June 9, 2022


WRI 2022

June 21-24, 2022


AREMA 2022 Annual Conference & Expo

August 28-31, 2022


InnoTrans

September 20-23, 2022


NRC Conference and NRC-REMSA Exhibition

January 4-7, 2023


Railway Interchange

October 1-4, 2023

REMSA Undergraduate Scholarship and Innovation Award: Now Open

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Don't miss out on your REMSA member benefits. Two valuable programs are open now - apply for undergraduate tuition assistance with the 2022 Undergraduate Scholarship, and industry recognition with the new Innovation Award. 


The REMSA Undergraduate Scholarship program is awarding two scholarships this year. Applicants must be a full- or part-time REMSA member company employee or the spouse, child, or grandchild of a current full time employee of a REMSA member company. A completed application must be submitted by July 15, 2022. 

View the application and learn more


New for 2022, the REMSA Innovation Award seeks to honor organization achievement by a REMSA member company which creates an innovative solution, product, or piece of equipment that better serves previous methods of completing a similar task within the railroad maintenance-of-way industry. The nomination company must be a REMSA member in good standing. Companies may nominate their own product, or another company's product that they use. Nominations are due by August 5, 2022.  

View the application and learn more


For questions on either of these programs, please contact Trade Shows & Marketing Manager Heidi Baker

Learn more

Washington Update

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Late in the week of May 9, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced the new Corridor Identification and Development Program, which will establish a pipeline of ready-to-be-funded projects to expand passenger-rail service in inner-city areas throughout the US. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), made the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak, and included $1.8 billion for the corridor identification and development program. The new corridor identification program "will strengthen the partnerships and project pipeline necessary to reshape America's passenger-rail network for generations to come," said FRA Administrator Amit Bose. Parties that are eligible to submit proposals are Amtrak, states, groups of states, entities implementing interstate compacts, regional passenger-rail authorities, regional planning organizations, political subdivisions of a state, federal recognized Indian Tribes, and possibly other entities. The FRA will solicit formal proposals for the program this year. 


On May 6, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced it was proposing a temporary transitional waiver of the Buy America requirements for federally funded construction projects. USDOT is seeking public comment on the waiver, that became effective May 14 and expires November 10. The waiver would give state and local entities, transit agencies, contractors, and other stakeholders time to begin the compliance process. The Buy America requirements were introduced with IIJA, and requires all federally funded projects to use American-made materials in order to spur domestic production. Suppliers are encouraged to inform USDOT of sufficient domestic availability of construction materials to help shorten the transition time or narrow its applicability to encourage local and domestic sourcing. 


On April 18, the US Surface Transportation Board (STB) announced it had approved CSX’s purchase of Pan Am Railways. CSX’s purchase of Pan Am Railways, a regional railroad in the northeastern United States, will expand CSX’s 23-state network into Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. It will also add to CSX’s existing network in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. The STB said the deal would improve Pan Am’s rail network due to CSX’s capital expenditure capability and that customers will benefit from being able to ship their goods through a region on a single carrier. Pan Am is expected to become part of CSX on June 1. 


On May 12, the House Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials held a hearing titled ‘Board Member views on Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization.’ This hearing was an opportunity for the STB to give an update on some of the things they discussed during the April 25 and 26 hearings on recent rail service problems and recovery efforts involving the Class I carriers. Surface Transportation Board Chair Martin Oberman said during the hearing that what he referred to as a “severe crisis in service” among Class I Freight railroads needs a strong federal response.


Oberman also discussed and answered questions from Members of Congress on reciprocal switching and highlighted the upcoming service recovery plans that freight railroads would soon be required to submit to the STB. In particular, Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Peter DeFazio (D-OR) pressed Oberman and other STB members on how the industry is at an inflection point and expressed frustration with the Class Is for ignoring common carrier and federal mandates to maintain effective railroad networks and sufficient capital investments. In addition, Oberman mentioned that the STB is in the process of establishing a new office to handle its new responsibility to enforce passenger rail on time performance. Also discussed during the question and answer portion of the hearing was whether or not the upcoming STB reauthorization would impact the board’s ability to function. Oberman and the other STB members reassured the Subcommittee that they had the resources they needed to operate effectively, even with the reauthorization of the STB on the horizon. 


Read the Washington Update on our website

Member of the Month

Matt Violin

Sr. Director of Sales & Marketing, NARSTCO

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How did you get started in the rail industry? 

I was extremely fortunate to be born into the railroad industry as a third-generation railroader. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my father and grandfather who ran a railroad construction company for many years in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). After we sold the family-owned construction business, Violin Railroad Construction Co., I joined NARSTCO as their Regional Sales Manager for Canada in 2008. Having the ability to learn both the service and supply sides of the industry has proven to be extremely valuable. Being able to combine that experience with my involvement with REMSA and its membership is the reason I’m in the position I am today. I am grateful to all that have supported me and provided guidance along the way.


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

I love that as big and widespread as the railroad industry is, it is still very much a close tight knit group of people that really treat each other as family and friends. We as an industry, and especially those a part of REMSA, continue to drive each other for improvements and innovations that advances the rail industry as a whole.


What do you find yourself doing most in your time off?

As a father of three, a lot of my time “downtime” is spent with my kids running from one sporting event to the next. I enjoy helping coach their teams as much as possible. Whenever I do manage to grab some free time I enjoy golfing, biking and playing hockey. We also enjoy traveling as a family and exploring new places. 


How do you define the “future” of rail? 

As we’ve been seeing in recent years, there will be a number of railroad professionals retiring. Many of these professionals have a vast amount of knowledge and experience. For the new generations entering the rail industry, it is imperative that they absorb and interact with these professionals as much as possible. With new generations come new ideas and purpose. This will continue to improve and drive the rail industry forward, especially with respect to the importance of protecting and limiting our impact on the environment as much as possible. Even more so, new rail professionals have a fresh perspective on methods and procedures which is always welcome, especially when it improves the supply chain and communities as a whole.


What do you enjoy most about being part of REMSA? 

REMSA along with its members and events has proven to be a great asset for me and my company, NARSTCO. Having the support of key railroad members that are a part of REMSA is extremely helpful and beneficial. REMSA’s alliance with other key organizations continues to prove, year after year, that it is one of the rail industries premier organizations.


Anything else you would like to add/share? 

I encourage everyone to join REMSA and support them by attending events and giving time to support the various events and programs.

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Interested in being featured in an upcoming Mainline and on REMSA's social media? REMSA is looking for members to feature as the member of the month! Whether you are a seasoned railroader or new to the industry, REMSA will share your story and recognize your company across our digital channels. Email Trade Shows & Marketing Manager Heidi Baker at baker@remsa.org to apply today.

REMSA Grassroots Program

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On April 19, REMSA member company A&K Railroad Materials hosted Representative Sharice Davids (D-KS 3rd District) for a tour of its railroad component manufacturing facility in Kansas City, Kan. The tour was the first stop on Davids’ “Made in Kansas” tour promoting domestic manufacturing and supply chain solutions. Davids, who serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee as Vice Chair, was selected as a key negotiator for the House as lawmakers conference in the coming weeks to finalize a bipartisan supply chain package. 


A&K Railroad Materials President Kellen Desmond led an employee meeting with Davids and a tour through the manufacturing facility. “We’re glad to be the first stop on Representative Davids’ tour and show off the manufacturing capability we have here in Kansas City, Kan.,” said Desmond. “We’re excited to see what the bipartisan infrastructure law holds for the railroad industry and for A&K.” “When we make more here at home, and when we invest in strong supply chains, we lower costs for folks at the store. The work at A&K Railroad Materials is important to every piece of that equation,” said Congresswoman Davids.

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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. REMSA has hosted 50 grassroots events with member companies since the program was launched in 2015.


If you are interested in hosting a grassroots event at your facility please reach out to Mike McGonagle at mcgonagle@remsa.org.

Member News


REMSA member Industry-Railway Suppliers featured in rail supplier news (Progressive Railroading)


REMSA members Advanced Rail Systems, Comet Industries, Danella, featured in rail supplier news (Progressive Railroading)


REMSA member AECOM featured in rail supplier news (RT&S)

Industry News


Regulators approve CSX's purchase of Pan Am Railways (Associated Press)


Build America, Buy America Guidance strengthens Made in America requirements (White House)


WMATA's Board of Directors selects Randy Clarke as its new General Manager and CEO (WMATA)


Railway Engineering Short Courses (RailTEC at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)


STB to require railroads to report more rail-service, employment data (Progressive Railroading)

Advertise with REMSA


Highlight your company with a banner or tile ad on the REMSA website and broaden your audience. Ads will appear at www.remsa.org and run starting with three-month terms. REMSA members enjoy the member-rate to advertise. 

Learn more

Contact us


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


Email: info@remsa.org

Phone: (202) 844-6026

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