October 2020

Industry Events

November 4th

December 8th-10th

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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

REMSA Announces Leadership Changes for 2021

Save the Date: Railway Interchange 2021

Industry News

Member News

WashingtonUpdateWashington Update

In Final Stretch Before November Election, Stimulus Talks Remain Stalled

As anticipated, a Continuing Resolution passed at the end of September temporarily extended government funding as well as surface transportation funding until December 12th. At that time, Congress will need to fund the government again, and it's expected that the FAST Act, which funded surface transportation programs from 2015-2020, will be extended for one year in order for negotiations on the next five-year bill to be completed. 

With just (2 days to go before the general election, the only major Congressional business that's expected to occur before November 3rd is the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Though talks on a new COVID-19 stimulus package between the Trump administration and Congress, specifically the House, have stopped and started a few times since July, the dynamics haven't changed too much and it would be unlikely to see something come together in just a few days.


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

stahlwebinarREMSA Webinar Series

REMSA's webinar series continued with the NRC-REMSA Joint Panel on September 24th and Update on Federal Transit Funding on October 6th. 

REMSA is excited to announce two upcoming webinars coming up in October and November:

Let's Do This Right the First Time: Safely Returning to Work in the Time of COVID-19
2:00PM EDT, October 27th

The Value of Veterans in the Workplace
2:00PM EDT, November 10th

Our full library of webinars, now at ten total and growing, is available to REMSA Members here.

Keep an eye on our events calendar to view and register for upcoming webinars as they become available. 

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

memberofthemonthREMSA Member of the Month 
Jaron Nelson
 Manager of Service, Vancer

How did you get started in the rail industry? 
I started with Vancer in May of 2008 while attending tech school and went full-time in 2010. I worked on installing safety and productivity items on Maintenance of Way equipment for Class 1 railroads a few months out of the year. Eventually volume got to the point where we were setting up/modifying/repairing equipment for railroad customers year round.

What do you love most about your job/the rail industry?
I love that we have the opportunity to tailor our products to meet our customers' needs, and get to work with them directly to build completely new products for new railroad projects. 

What do you find yourself doing most in your downtime? Hobbies outside of work?
I am a gearhead through and through, so even after work I find myself building/fabricating cars and engines all the time. I'm currently building a 1936 Chevrolet sedan with a modern drivetrain (fuel injected 6.0 engine, NV3500 trans, Ford 8.8 rear-end) to be a year-round daily driver.

How do you define the "future" of rail? Where do you think the industry is headed?
More and more Maintenance of Way groups are looking for a single machine to replace multiple machines.  I think they are looking for a way to be able to utilize one operator to do multiple jobs, and therefore lower overhead expenses.  Railroads are looking for ways to maximize production and minimize safety risks, so the dependence on equipment will be much greater in the future. 

What do you enjoy most about being part of the association (REMSA)?
I like the opportunity to meet with customers (old and new) and talk about what issues they are facing currently.  I like to see what other groups are doing to meet the needs of our railroad customers.  It helps us to constantly strive to be better.


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

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

Back to top 
ldrshpREMSA Announces Leadership Changes for 2021

Rob Rosecrans, Holland Company
Doug Combs, Harsco Rail
The Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA) announced today that two new Directors were elected to the REMSA Board of Directors at the REMSA Annual Membership Meeting, which took place earlier this week on October 13. The incoming REMSA Directors are: Doug Combs, Vice President of North America, Harsco Rail; and Rob Rosencrans, General Manager, Rail Services - N. America, Holland Company.

Combs and Rosencrans will begin their two-year terms on the Board of Directors beginning January 1, 2021.Include the benefits of attending the event - to contribute to a worthy cause, to learn about something new, dinner and dancing or even to see a special attraction. Add a link for your invitees to RSVP for the event.

REMSA would also like to acknowledge REMSA Director, Allen Goff, Senior Director of Sales, Pandrol, who has served on the Board of Directors since 2018 and whose term will expire at the end of 2020 as well as REMSA Immediate Past President, Bruce Wise, Director of Business Development, Loram Maintenance of Way, Inc. - Friction Management.

RIstdSave the Date: Railway Interchange 2021 

REMSA will begin taking booth reservations for Railway Interchange 2021 exhibit space starting on Wednesday, November 4.

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. 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.

CEscholarshipREMSA 2020 Continuing Education Scholarship Program

The Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA) is pleased to announce the availability of one continuing education scholarship for tuition assistance. This year REMSA is offering one (1) Continuing Education Scholarship up to $15,000. The purpose of this scholarship is to positively impact the future of the rail construction and maintenance industry by supporting REMSA member employees' education. REMSA is seeking scholarship applications from employees who are pursuing additional education that would allow them to work successfully and grow within the rail construction and maintenance industry.

To be eligible for consideration, an applicant must: 
  • be a full-time employee of a REMSA member company. An employee who is the scholarship applicant is required to be a full-time employee. Part-time employees and interns are not eligible;
  • provide proof of enrollment in a college or university or a vocational or technical institution continuing education program at the time the funds are disbursed.
The deadline to apply is: Friday, October 30. For more information on the REMSA Continuing Education Scholarship Program, visit our website here.

Penn State Altoona now offers a 4-year Bachelor's of Science degree in Rail Transportation Engineering (RTE). This program, currently the first of its kinds in the US, provides hands-on railroad engineering education and training with special emphasis on railroad civil infrastructure. Other topics covered in the major include train operations, railroad mechanical systems, railroad signaling, and safety. At Penn State, RTE students gain the scientific and theoretical background required for professional engineering but also gain experience in on-track safety, job safety briefings, leadership and exposure to railroad-specific structures, systems and technology.

Penn State RTE students are currently seeking internships (summer 2021) and full-time employment with railroads, suppliers and rail consulting companies. If your company is interested in hiring students from Penn State Altoona for internships or full-time employment, please contact Prof. Bryan Schlake (bws14@psu.edu) and/or Program Coordinator, Prof. Stephen Dillen (sld130@psu.edu). More information about the Penn State RTE program can be found at: http://www.altoona.psu.edu/rte/

GrassrootsREMSA Grassroots Program: Rep. Ron Estes (KS-4) Visits REMSA Member Budde Enterprises

Rep. Estes views one of Budde Enterprises' custom built storage solutions with Owner Carrie Budde and General Manager Rusty Krehbiel

On October 6th, our grassroots program continued with Congressman Ron Estes (R-Kansas) joining REMSA and member company Budde Enterprises for a tour of their repair and custom metal fabrication facility in Newton, Kansas.

"Today I met with the great employees of Budde Enterprises with the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association and toured their exceptional manufacturing facility in Newton," said Rep. Estes. "The talents of these skilled workers keep our railway infrastructure sound and allow farms and businesses in Kansas to transport goods across the country. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to ensure that our rail infrastructure is robust and continues to support the economy and jobs in south central Kansas."

"We are thankful to have the opportunity to work with our government to influence decisions that are positive for our work force and small businesses in Kansas. It is nice to see our officials getting out and getting their eyes on what blue collar Americans do to drive our economy. We are proud of our people and the amazing things they are capable of and thankful to work with railroads to keep our economy moving" said Carrie Budde, Owner of Budde Enterprises.


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.  

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.

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

IN2Alan S. Boyd, First Transportation Secretary, 98
President Lyndon B. Johnson tapped Boyd to build the organization structure that created the U.S. Department of Transportation, and Boyd was sworn in as transportation secretary in 1967. He served previously as Undersecretary of Commerce for Transportation under President Johnson. Among his responsibilities, he headed a task force to study the maritime industry that issued a 1965 report that led to conflict with the industry's labor leadership. He was involved in a second confrontation with labor after denouncing "featherbedding" by railroad firemen. (Railway Age)

in3AAR recognizes industry leaders in hazmat safety
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) announced the 2020 recipient of the Holden-Proefrock Award and the 2019 Non-Accident Release (NAR) Grand Slam Awards, which are given annually to individuals, shippers and railroads operating in hazardous material fields. (Progressive Railroading)

CSX has promoted Arthur Adams to senior vice president of sales. Previously, Adams was head of marketing services and led a transformation of customer service operations and e-solutions enhancements, CSX officials said in a press release. He joined CSX in 2007 with experience in the retail and health-care sectors. (Progressive Railroading)

RailTrends® has opened registration for this year's conference, which will be held virtually Nov. 19-20. Now in it's 16th year, RailTrends - presented by Progressive Railroading and Tony Hatch, senior transportation analyst at ABH Consulting - features the perspectives of senior executives from Class Is, regionals and short lines during two days of sessions. (Progressive Railroading) 
MemberNEwsMember News

Class 1 Fleet Managers, rail contractors and transit operators have multiple options for hi-rail applications. With a full line of offerings, DMF has been evaluating ways to improve our designs based on customer feedback. The next generation of railgear has been meticulously designed to address key areas from kit assembly and installation to reducing maintenance and inventory costs while maintaining the top focus on safety and operation. (Progressive Railroading)

The ENSCO Rail Autonomous Track Geometry Measurement System is a fully autonomous track geometry measurement system installed on locomotives, passenger trains or freight cars. The systems operate uninterrupted, more frequently and without an operator onboard - a "key advantage over traditional manned systems," ENSCO Rail officials said in an email.(Progressive Railroading)

In the midst of the global pandemic, the health of the North American wood-tie industry is difficult to gauge. Demand continues to be steady, but the overall well-being of sawmills remains in question as other industries soften their demand for wood fibers. (Progressive Railroading)

mn5Product roundup: Concrete, composite and steel ties featuring REMSA members L.B. Foster, LT Resources, Evertrak, NARSTCO, voestalpine Railway Systems Nortrak, and Vossloh
Despite headwinds from COVID-19 that have resulted in some project delays, L.B. Foster Co. has garnered a number of new opportunities for its CXT® concrete ties this year, company officials said in an email. They also continue to implement programs internally designed to boost product quality and performance. (Progressive Railroading)

mn5.5Plasser American Expanding Chesapeake HQ
Plasser American says "a new era has begun" with signing of a contract to increase manufacturing capacities at its headquarters in Chesapeake, Va. The expansion, the company says, is its "commitment to the Chesapeake facility and products 'Made in USA,' as a big family and part of the railroad system" and that "shows our longstanding regional footprint." (Railway Age)

mn6ROBEL: Successful Newcomer in North American Track
For more than a century, ROBEL machines have successfully been working on railroads
around the world. With a proven track record for safety and reliability, it was only a matter of
time before ROBEL ventured into the North American Market. ROBEL North America
Corporation (RNAC) located in Edison, New Jersey, now distributes the complete range of
ROBELs world renowned track maintenance machines for the USA and Canadian markets. (Press Release)